Following the signing of Michael Bush on Thursday, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte expressed frustration with his team by tweeting, “There’s only so many times a man that has done everything he’s been asked to do can be disrespected!” Forte went on to say, “Guess the good guys do finish last,” while his agent added, “To sign yet another running back, prior to completing a contract with Matt suggests disregard for Matt and his contribution to the Bears.”
Forte has every right to be angry with the Bears. He’s a perfect fit for that team and by signing Bush to a four-year, $14 million contract, the Bears have completely taken away Forte’s leverage in long-term contract talks.
You’d probably be upset with the Bears too if it were you. But Forte also needs to exercise a little patience here.
The Bears had to protect themselves for a couple of reasons. For starters, Forte suffered a season-ending injury last year and if he were to get hurt again in 2012, Chicago would be in major trouble if it had signed him to a long-term deal this offseason. Plus, this isn’t the first time that Forte has been upset with the front office so if he decides that he’s had enough of Chicago and moves on next year, at least the Bears have a pretty good back in Bush already on the roster.
For obvious reasons, no player wants to sign a franchise contract. Nothing is guaranteed beyond that one season so if the player were to get hurt he could lose out on a big pay day after already proving that he deserved a long-term deal. But at least next season is guaranteed for Forte, who will make much more than $14 million over four years if he can stay healthy in 2012.
Personally, I felt the Bears should have paid Forte last year. He’s one of the most versatile backs in the league and seeing as how there have been no signs of progress between him and the Bears on a long-term deal, it’s no wonder why he would be upset with the Bush signing.
But one way or another Forte will get paid. He just needs to stay healthy and be patient.