CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 13: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears points to the stands while celebrating after scoring a touchdown. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
While Drew Brees gets most of the headlines in his franchise tag standoff, Bears fans are waiting for Matt Forte to sign on the dotted line.
The numbers are staggering. Forte is the first player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards or more from scrimmage in each of his first four seasons. He also joined Walter Payton, Neal Anderson and Gale Sayers as Bears players to knock out four seasons of 1,000 yards or more from scrimmage. Good company, huh?
The franchise tag would pay Forte $7.7 million. Yeah, that's a lot. But Forte knows the only money that matters is guaranteed money. If he blows out a knee next year, his earning power could be cut forever.
Not only is he trying to lock down what he's worth (and $7.7 million seems about right), he's trying to make up for his first four years in the league, when he was paid chump change.
The Bears have an incredibly versatile weapon entering his prime. General consensus around the league is that running backs are a dime a dozen. But who's the last Bears running back you remember fondly? Ironhead Heyward?
Especially in the light of all the concussion news emerging, Forte is smart to use his leverage now. Yes, it's annoying he's not signed, but a deal will get done eventually. And Forte deserves the payday for services rendered and services yet to come.