On LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, and Contracts

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 13: Matt Forte #22 of Chicago Bears runs as he is tackled by Stephen Tulloch #55 of the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

On Thursday, LeSean McCoy of the Eagles signed a five-year, up to $45 million extension with about $20 million guaranteed. Matt Forte played his fourth season to finish out his rookie deal and now sits with a franchise tag of $7.742 million, and the prospects of a contract getting done seeming more distant.

The McCoy deal, according to Rotoworld, is as follows:

5/17/2012: Signed a six-year, $45.615 million contract. The deal contains $20.765 million guaranteed, including McCoy's base salaries in years one through three. 2012: $615,000, 2013: $3.25 million, 2014: $8 million, 2015: $10.25 million, 2016: $7.15 million, 2017: $7.85 million, 2018: Free Agent

So what does this mean for Forte? Let's take a look and compare the two players and their situations.

Player Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush TDs Rush Y/A Rush/Game Rec Rec Yards Rec TDs Rec Y/A Rec/Game
Matt Forte 1,014 4,233 21 4.2 16.9 223 1,985 8 8.9 3.7
LeSean McCoy 635 3,026 28 4.8 13.8 166 1,215 5 7.3 3.6

The two players at first glance are extremely similar - both are very solid, dual-threat running backs, who can rush the ball as well as make plays receiving out of the backfield. Both get about the same receptions per game with Forte having more reception touchdowns and a slightly higher yards per reception, and Forte gets a few more carries on the ground.

But these numbers compare Forte's total four-year career to McCoy's total three-year career. So let's strip this down, comparing Forte's first three years to McCoy's, and then Forte's last three years to compare the current players.

Player Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush TDs Rush Y/A Rush/Game Rec Rec Yards Rec TDs Rec Y/A Rec/Game
Matt Forte (08-10) 811 3,236 18 3.99 16.9 171 1,495 7 8.74 3.56
Matt Forte (09-11) 698 2,995 13 4.29 15.9 160 1,508 4 9.425 3.64
LeSean McCoy 635 3,026 28 4.8 13.8 166 1,215 5 7.3 3.6

Over the three-year splits, McCoy is the more effective runner, whereas Forte is the more effective receiver. McCoy's rushing yardage per attempt is almost a full yard above Forte's first three years and a full half-yard over Forte's last three. On the other hand, Forte's receiving YPA is almost a yard and a half over McCoy's for the first three years of his career, and over two full yards above McCoy's over the last three years, with the two players getting about the same receptions. McCoy gets a few less rushes than Forte gets, yet has more touchdowns, by a fairly significant margin. You could say McCoy's last year is an outlier with 17 rushing touchdowns. But even with that taken out, McCoy's 11 touchdowns (over his first two seasons) is still right in line with any two connected years of Forte's career.

Player Rush Attempts Rush Yards Rush TDs Rush Y/A Rush/Game Rec Rec Yards Rec TDs Rec Y/A Rec/Game
Matt Forte (08-09) 574 2,167 12 3.77 17.94 120 948 4 7.9 2.5
Matt Forte (09-10) 495 1,998 10 4.04 15.47 108 1,018 3 9.425 3.375
Matt Forte (10-11) 440 2,066 9 4.70 15.71 103 1,037 4 10.07 3.68
LeSean McCoy (09-10) 362 1,717 11 4.74 11.68 118 900 2 7.63 3.81

Is McCoy as big a part of the offense as Forte is? Last year his 1,624 combined yards from scrimmage were only 24.8% of his team's offense, and 27.1% of offense of games he played in. By contrast, Forte's yardage in games he played in accounted for 38.03% of the team's total yardage.

So while Forte picks up a larger percentage of the team's yardage when he plays as well as better receiving stats, McCoy picks up almost the same yardage, adds a few more touchdowns on the ground, and does so more efficiently. Forte's extra carries weigh down his numbers fairly significantly - while Forte's share of the offense is greater than McCoy's, the extra use and reliance has to reverse that negotiating effect.

And I'd like to close off my portion of the piece by discussing the players' individual leverages in their negotiations. McCoy just came off an All-Pro year in which he scored 20 total touchdowns and steadily increased his production each year as he received more and more carries. Forte's stayed more consistent and has improved his per carry numbers, including making the Pro Bowl last year, but he's already gone over 1000 carries on his career, and hasn't quite shown the same nose for the end zone as in his first season.

So, we'll end on that with a few thoughts...

First off, do you think Forte is worth the same total extension amount as McCoy received? If not, did McCoy's contract torpedo any chances of the Bears and Forte reaching an agreement? How much does Forte's extra use hurt his chances of reaching a similar deal?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Join Windy City Gridiron

You must be a member of Windy City Gridiron to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Windy City Gridiron. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker