I've never posted on WCG before, but felt this merited my time since I have an undying bromance for good ol' 22.
I hope to remain objective and unoffensive. Please let me know if I have failed in either so I can rectify it.
I initially found it difficult to believe keeping Forte needed justification. Then I remembered who we are. We suggest trading Lance Briggs about every other year and we want to deal Devin Hester when Briggs isn't an issue. I don't believe that you can fill holes in positions by creating new ones. This much is sound logic. You trade when depth is there, and you don't trade your starter without an equal or better replacement ready to go. This is not one of those years. With that preface I'll begin my justification for the continuance of the PAYDAMAN campaign.
The CJ_K problem.
If Chris Johnson had performed like he was supposed to this wouldn't likely be as big an issue (I also would have swept in my FFL, but I digress). I don't believe we should let Johnson's lack of production change our view of what Matt Forte can do. We should do our best to remain objective. They're not the same player and we're not the same offense.
Matt Forte's Durability
He's durable. He's taken more than his share of carries since he entered the league in '08 and this is his first injury. No surgery was required. He's already been cleared medically for the ProBowl and I'm sure he'll undergo some more scrutiny before he's signed. Running backs don't last as long--they say. All good things must come to an end. You can't make decisions based on the fact that he's eventually not going to be effective. Don't sign him for 7 years. Sign him for the amount of time he's expected to be effective for. He's only 26.
Reports say he was offered something in the realm of 6 mil per year and 12-13 mil guaranteed. Forte says offer was no where near that. Something fishy is going on there. I'm not sure how much he's looking for. I'm sure he's looking for something similar to Chris Johnson's value--within that ball park.
This is where the infighting really starts. We're in a cap year. Peppers was expensive. Briggs is unhappy--again. Urlacher and co need to be extended. I'm not a finance guy. Da Bears have people for that. I'm a fan I'll think as such and get paid as such. They'll figure it out. They had some cap room this year and couldn't get the deal done, so they'll receive no consideration from me. I think he's worth what Chris Johnson was worth for the TItans. They had a RB, a WR, but no QB. We have a QB a RB and no WR. Values are similar, esp when that RB is also the top WR. I'm one who thinks that if you produce, you should get paid.
We'll just replace him with Kahlil Bell
LOL what? I should stop with just that, but I won't out of respect for my peers. I know off seasons can lead to some crazy talk but Bell is no Matt Forte. I don't want a Caleb Hanie experience out of this position next year. For that matter, as I've noted in a comment section before, I don't want another Cedric Benson experience. How we missed Thomas Jones.... Please don't tell me you'd like to see that again. Matt Forte is a juggernaut. He cannot be replaced with what we evaluated to be a 3rd string RB.
A note on character.
As a fan it means a great deal that he didn't throw us under the bus in a hold out. Think of what this offense would have been without him when Cutler was healthy (for that matter think of what it would have done to my FF team). He showed up to play for under a million when we can ALL agree he's certainly worth more than that to us. He played risking injury without guaranteed money and he got injured. I was very sad for him when it happened and most of us knew our season was definitively over when it did. He's healthy again. If he's not, our evaluation will deem it so. He showed character by giving us a season and we should show some by at least not throwing him under the bus now.
A note from me: I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you guys for making it through the read, but mostly for the reading material you've provided. I'm not from Chicago. I live in California and started watching football later in life than most--2005 (High School). I fell in love with good defense and Chicago was the best team to watch. I've been loyal ever since. I was rewarded early in '06 and have been hooked ever since. I appreciate the Chicagoan perspective you guys offer. I like to get a sense of what the city is feeling from afar and listen to Joniak's broadcast over the web while the games are playing.