What to Expect From Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears

Posted: March 23, 2012 by Shawn in NFL, Sports

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Matt Forte, the star running back from the Bears, has wanted a new long-term contract for some time now. The Bears are reluctant to give him one for a few reasons. The first is that the NFL is now a passing league and running backs are no longer the focal point of the offense. Also if a team has a good offensive-line then you can plug almost any running back in and get a 1,000 yard rusher. If a running back can make it to age 30 he is considered ancient. The Bears do not want to be locked into someone that might not be productive in a season or two.

Forte does have a strong case for wanting a contract and let it be known on twitter that he was not happy with the recent signing of fellow running back and former Oakland Raider Michael Bush. When Jay Cutler went down last season he carried the load both running and catching the ball. One thing that Forte does as good or better than anyone in the league is catching the ball in the backfield and turning it into a big gain. Forte wants to be paid like Chris Johnson (who held out last year and got paid but was not as productive as in years past because of rust) or Adrian Peterson; it’s hard to see this happening since the Bears have been notorious for stiffing their players when it comes to contracts.

It may sound like Forte has no choice and just has to live with being franchised and playing on a one-year contract, but this is not the case. Forte can holdout and not play or participate in any team activities until he is happy with his contract situation. He will not get paid because he isn’t working (you can think of it as a one man strike).

There are pros and cons when a player holds out. Almost every time a player holds out the media and fans turn on him because they believe he is selfish and only looking out for himself. However when a player holds out he generally gets the contract he his looking for, either from his original team or by being traded (unless your name is Vincent Jackson).

The final outcome for this most likely will not come until the start of preseason (maybe even the regal season) because that’s when the Bears have to make the decision if they want to pay him, call his bluff and let him watch games at home, or trade him and get something in return. This story will not dominate the  sports news this offseason but it will be a key factor in determining the NFC North Champion next season.

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