The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the very best offer the Bears gave to Matt Forte was $13-14 million, with $6 million guaranteed. While that is a whole lot of money to this writer, it is not enough money to put him alongside the league's best backs.
In fact, it barely makes him among the best paid backs on the Bears. Marion Barber's contract with the Cowboys paid him around $6.5 million. Chester Taylor had a $7 million dollar contract with the team last year. Taylor got that for his 267 yards, so it's not insane for Forte to want considerably more for his 1500 all-purpose yards in 2010.
Other featured backs in the league have received their paydays. Carolina's DeAngelo Williams got a $43 million, five-year contract that includes $21 million guaranteed, Tennessee running back Chris Johnson got a record-setting $55.26 million, six-year contract that includes $30 million guaranteed.
Something Jerry Angelo has pointed out throughout the process is that unlike Williams, Johnson and even Taylor, Forte is not a free agent. He is looking for an extension.
That's true. Matt Forte is not a free agent, but that's the idea, Jerry. You don't want him to become a free agent, because if he does, he will leave Chicago. You need to give him a reason to stay, which is the whole idea behind a contract extension. Take care of the best players -- say, the ones who are responsible for 51 percent of the offense -- so that they'll stick around.
Just pay the man, Jerry.