The end of the Forte saga could be coming to an abrupt end by Monday next week. The Forte contract talks started roughly before last season when their was a possibility of a Forte holdout. It never came into fruition, but Forte was still unhappy about negotiations so he decided to go to the media to plead his case. This spawned the Pay Forte epidemic that had Bears fans outwardly opposing the front offices judgement of not deciding to sign Forte to a long term deal. It made the entire organization look bad, but no deal was ever negotiated and talks were tabled to the off-season. Since then a lot has changed, a new General Manager in Phil Emery has taken the reigns from former GM Jerry Angelo. Emery made quick work as the Bears GM signing Michael Bush from Oakland, and acquiring Brandon Marshall in a trade from the Miami Dolphins. This only upset Forte as he went public with this infamous tweet:
@MattForte22“There’s only so many times a man that has done everything he’s been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last….”
Forte was headed for a bad breakup with the Bears, and many speculated he would hold out at this years training camp. First, reports came in that he would sign the tender and play out this year and re-sign elsewhere. Cutler and other players said they would be “shocked” if he wasn’t at training camp. Cutler then came back a rebutted those comments saying that the state of the Forte negotiations were still a mystery. Conflicting reports were going out every week, but soon after the Brees deal was signed, the news of Forte being “optimistic” hit the for front of NFL news. He expects to get a deal done before the July 16th deadline. After an entire year of lame duck talks Forte might be getting exactly what he wants in the end, and Bears fans will have one of their most beloved players back in the navy blue and orange once again. The details of the deal have not been released yet, but expect Forte to get a large chunk of change this off-season.
My take on this whole situation is that I was always for getting Forte signed. He’s a special back with minor durability issues. He’s produced with nothing from the front office to show for it. He’s improved every year since his surprising rookie year, and is a premiere back in this league now. Running back stock has definitely been diminished by the evolution of the passing game, but good running backs still come as a premium and can help out a team more than just running the ball. Forte is good in every dimension of the game and should be compensated, he lead the league in all-purpose yards last year and this year should be no different. If reports are correct Bears nation should be overjoyed.