Matt Forte celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at LP Field on Aug. 27, 2011 in Nashville.
With the regular season looming, the Bears and Matt Forte have decided to hold off their contract talks. Bears GM Jerry Angelo said both sides want to focus on the season.
"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to come to an agreement at this point, so we've decided that we're just going to focus on the season," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told WBBM radio on Monday night. "That's something we talked about when we went into the negotiations. We were hopeful. Not saying the door is shut. But right now our focus is going to be on the season."
It's a smart move by both the Bears and Forte.
Now, his performance this season can be taken into account in his contract. That gives Forte an extra incentive to play at the highest level possible. At the same time, it's a risk because if he has a bad year or is injured, it could hurt Forte's bottom line.
It also stands in stark contrast to the timing of Lance Briggs' trade-or-give-me-a-raise demand. Briggs started making noise about his contract just after the Bears finished their final pre-season game, a move that he called "necessary."
Forte is in the final year of his rookie contract, which pays him roughly a half million per season, despite the fact that he ranks fifth in the NFL for creating yards from scrimmage. Briggs, a six-time Pro Bowler, is halfway through a contract valued at $36 million.
One of those players have contract negotiations that are necessary -- the one who just sacrificed for the good of his team.