Pay the Man: Bears Stalling on Signing Forte is Baffling: Fan’s Opinion

I really, really, really don't understand it.

As Chicago Bears fans, or any general football fan for that matter, we can agree the Bears have their share of issues. Sure, they are sitting at 4-3 and actually find themselves in the thick of the NFC, but it's hardly been easy. It's been rocky. It's been frustrating. But, as usual, it's been fun.

I guarantee, with absolute certainty, this season would be an unmitigated disaster without the presence of Matt Forte in the Bears backfield. Forte does an absurdly large amount on offense for the Bears. The comparison is Marshall Faulk (not in terms of level of talent necessarily, but in his role). Yet, the Bears refuse to sign him to a long-term contract—at least until after the season. Normally, I blow off contract talks. Most of the time, players are just being childish: "So and so got a contract, I want one too." "So and so makes $1 million a game, I only make $800,000." "I signed a six-year contract but now I don't think I'm making enough so I want a new contract." You get the picture.

Forte, however, is a little different. He deserves that contract. I'll leave all the endless arguments about how professional athletes get way more money than they should to another article or commentator. So, for a moment, check any moral objections at the door when I use a term like "deserves." Forte is just in one of those positions when you say "what else does he have to do to warrant that contract?"

Here's my problem with the scenario. I imagine the Bears plan on signing Forte to a nice deal. To this point, they've said it will wait until after the season. I don't understand why you wouldn't pay him now. He has more than the necessary production, it's going to weigh on him as the season progresses, you're going to do it anyway, and we'll have to hear about it all year if they don't. If they aren't planning to sign him, then I ought to stop watching Bears football. Forte currently has 1,091 yards from scrimmage: good for best in the league. In fact, he's more than 200 yards above his nearest competitor in that department.

Yeah, I'd pay him too.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the National Football League throughout.


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Updated Friday, Oct 28, 2011