Why was what he said such a bad mark for him and his standing with fans? Because the truth hurts? The "Pay the man" campaign was not created because a spoiled athlete printed up some T-shirts and decided to market his stance of not getting paid enough. The "Pay the man" concept was brought up by the fact that here was a guy that after getting drafted in the 2nd round, showed the durability and production of an elite back for a team that asked him to carry the load in an offense. He did so more than any other back in the league and that was mostly out of management's ineptitude in drafting and signing better players. His production last season is what created this phrase. It was through his play on the field that moved people to just say...Pay the man.
There's already another great post on this topic by "And Ditka is his Prophet" on this issue and I just felt the need to continue and expand the discussion on this topic because it's quite interesting. Because after reading most of the comments here and listening to opinions in the media, I've come to one conclusion...Forte's tweet was 100% correct. More after the jump...
So after he bet on himself, put up what would have been a top 5 MVP season before eventually getting what could have been a career ending injury what does he get for it? He gets to see yet another backup running back get signed while he got franchised. Then he gets to see fans talk about how little an elite RB is worth in today's NFL and how he should have taken the low-ball contract (Which contrary to popular belief it was) the Bears offered. It's funny though, because I can almost promise that none of these fans were worried about how important an elite back was when he was single-handily beating the Buccaneers in Europe or when yet another paid backup RB was costing us the KC and Denver games and eventually the playoffs. Furthermore, some of the same fans that are giving Forte a hard time now for not being a team player and being a whiny jock for not negotiating properly, would have tore him a new one if he pulled a Chris Johnson last year and held out. Which was the whole point of his anger and tweet in the first place.
Look, because Forte doesn't have 4.3 speed or run with the brute strength of AP, Forte will always be under appreciated. That's just a fact. Now he's seeing that it doesn't pay to be the good guy. Urlacher complained about an fairly new contract and what he get for it? A 10 million dollar re-work of his contract on the back end of his prime. Lance Briggs complained and bet on himself in 2006. What it get him? A new contract. It worked so well for him last time that he tried to do it again at the start of last season. Think he's concerned with how fans feel? Should he be? These guys know that worrying about how much media and fans feel about their financial business won't pay for their grand kids college education in 2040. So who cares right? Get what you can out of this league while you can. It's dangerous enough as it is.
So Forte kept his mouth shut, went out and had a career season and what it get him? Yet another less talented RB signed, a busted up knee, and the ridicule of fans everywhere who now even have the audacity to question his durability because of that injury. Do you break the bank on the guy? Of course not. But to act as if he was just some load back that just took on a bunch of carries and didn't factor into games instead of a poor man's Marshall Faulk who affected games is simply disrespectful. And to offer him less money than Frank Gore who just missed a Superbowl in this pass friendly "who needs a runningback to win anyway" league was just as bad. Good guys do finish last. What the problem with him stating the obvious?