The final chapter of the Forte contract saga has ended as he signed his new deal and is locked up until the 2016 season. Forte who has been one of the most productive players on the Bears roster has felt as if he needed to be compensated for his production. Forte originally wanted $20 million in guarantees, the Bears wanted to only give him $15 million in guarantees and to only pay him $6 million a year but Forte would not sign a contract of that caliber. The Bears and Forte found common ground at $18 million in guarantees, with Forte making $8 million annually.
Phil Emery has had a fantastic start to his career as the Bears general manager. He has been able to solidify an offense that has been reeling, and relying on a defense to bail them out over the course of a season. He’s been able to add depth in areas where the Bears need it most. He added star power with the Marshall trade, and now to wrap it all up has signed what most people say is the Bears best player in Matt Forte. After the Jerry Angelo era ended in Chicago, Bears fans were dying for a proven guy who could make significant changes at Halas Hall. Emery ended up here and many people were skeptical of the unproven scout, but he has come in and turned some heads in a short amount of time. The Forte deal at $18 million is a win for him, by finding common ground for both parties he did something Angelo could never do.
Forte was a bright light in an offense that didn’t have much to show for themselves at some points in 2011. He became the option on basically every down, and was very productive in that role. Since his breakout rookie year he’s only gotten better overall as a player, and he’s now one of the more versatile backs in the league. Before his injury he had the most all-purpose yards in the NFL showing his value through statistics as well. His production lead to the #PayForte campaign, but Bears management never re-opened negotiations during the season.
Forte is still surrounded by questions of durability, but he will be ready and healthy for the 2012 seasons. It’s good to have no distractions heading into training camp, and that the entire roster will be there ready to compete. The Bears now have one of the more impressive tandems in the league with Cutler-Forte-Marshall, and coming into this season the Bears are sure contenders for a NFC North, and possibly Superbowl title.
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