Matt Forte earned his degree in finance from Tulane University in 2009. This has not, however, seemed to help him understand how negotiating works.
Shortly after the news came out that the Bears had signed free agent RB Michael Bush, The Twittersphere was ablaze, and Forte jumped in to discuss his contract situation. First, by retweeting Greg Olsen, of all people. The first:
Oh, and it gets better.
After that gem by Olsen, we get another retweet of Charmin Ultra:
After using other people's words to express his feelings, Forte chimed in with his own gem:
Who actually talks like this? What kind of grown-person would walk around and use the same manipulative techniques that kids use to make sure their parents love them?
Oh, don't worry, though. He's not mad about it. He's totally cool with it. Well, except for all the complaining. Whining, you might call it. But he's totally ok with it.
There it is. It seems that there's a possibility that the whole "#paydaman" "#payforte" movement might've gone to someone's head.
Here's the problem, and the fundamental point of the title: Matt Forte doesn't seem to understand leverage.
See, leverage, in simple terms, helps you protect yourself from being forced into business deals that likely won't benefit you in the long-term. The Bears gained themselves leverage a couple of different ways. Here's just a couple:
- They signed players who would take some of the workload off of the starting running back. (Brandon Marshall)
- They signed a player who by all projections would be a competent replacement. (Michael Bush)
- The PLAYERS gave the OWNERS the franchise tag.
Forte, at one point, had a lot of leverage. He was playing well, working hard, but he got injured. He also had a frustrating ability to not find the end zone. He had a deal, he turned it down. Then he got hurt.
Forte's lack of leverage--that's the point. He's not engendering new support with a lot of people, as your average NFL fan is unlikely to feel too bad for someone who scoffs at making nearly eight million dollars, particularly if that person turned down much, much more that was reportedly on the table. He also stands to lose a lot of the fan support he has, as public perception of the franchise's moves this offseason have been generally positive.
He doesn't seem to understand that he's at least as culpable for his current status as the franchise is...and that's a dangerous attitude to have. It can become a problem in the locker room, and can build negativity all the way around. The Bears have an interesting situation unfolding in front of them, and hopefully Phil Emery is up to the challenge.