Well, it seems that all the 'pay Forte' talk has finally gone to his head. If Forte's tweets yesterday were anything to go by, it looks like he is having the running back equivalent of a hissy fit. He tweeted: "There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last...."
So, here he is, directly accusing the Bears organization of disrespecting him. This all comes after Chicago signed former Raiders back Michael Bush to a four year deal worth up to $14 million. To an extent, his frustrations are understandable, but this begs the question; could the Bears survive without Matt Forte?
Well of course the Bears would survive. It's not as if the world is going to implode because Matt Forte is no longer running around Soldier field. But there is no doubting the talent of Matt Forte and what he brings to the team. He is a versatile player equally skilled at running the ball as well as catching it. It was not long ago that I was singing his praises and taking a ride on the 'pay Forte' bandwagon.
To his credit, Forte has remained suitably diplomatic about the whole contract situation. Lots of people have tried to drag some kind of reaction out of him, but he has always replied with the usual 'I hope we can work something out; I just want to play football' etc etc. But now, it looks like we might have a little prima donna on our hands.
Oh, but wait. Forte later tried to claw back some dignity when he tweeted: "for the record I'm not mad at the signing of another running back. This is 4th time that's happened. I embrace competition as well as help."
Yeah, sure you do Matt. So why bother adding the sarcastic comment about it being the fourth time that the Bears have signed another running back? Lovie Smith has made no mention of Forte losing his starting job or even having to compete for it (heaven forbid). But this whole sequence of events seems to have left Forte a little shaken, to say the least. Mention must be made here of Lovie's threatening language when speaking to the press at the recent NFL combine. He said: "Matt is going to play his football for the Chicago Bears, you start with that." He WILL play for the Bears! Even if I have to drag him to the field myself. No one messes with a man named Lovie.
Is anyone thinking of Marion Barber during these difficult times? No? Thought not.
All joking aside, I fully expect Matt Forte to play for the Bears this season. And in my heart of hearts, I hope he can agree to a new contract that rewards him with as much money as he feels he deserves. Up until this point, and definitely last season, he was carrying the Bears offense. He has been professional and played the game with a passion that fans love to see. But this is a bit of a black mark on his career.
Although we may not hear about it, I would find it surprising if the Bears organization don't hand out some sort of punishment in terms of Forte's comments on Twitter. If they let it go, it's pretty much giving the green light for players to say what they want about the team. And in this instance, I don't think Forte's twitter rant, as he called it, has done him any favors. He could still be looking at striking a big deal with the Bears, and I have no idea why he would want to jeopardize that with the type of comments he made.
So, let's all sit back and be grateful that Phil Emery seems to be doing a good job so far. Cutler and his BFF are finally back together, so no excuses now Jay. Michael Bush is a competent running back, and played well last year, stepping in for an injured Darren McFadden. And please don't forget Kahlil Bell. I've been telling people about him for a long time. He is a good running back. He's the kind of running back that knows when to keep quiet; especially when trying to get paid more money.