Adam Schefter at ESPN tweets that the Bears plan to use the franchise tag on running back Matt Forte. Certainly no one would be surprised if that were true. As the Chicago Tribune‘s Brad Biggs has pointed out, the Bears are starting to consider extending their many potential free agents in an effort to get them signed before the end of the season. That means they have to start planning how they are going to apportion their remaining cap space.
Forte has claimed for some reason that he doesn’t think the Bears will do this. He apparently thinks that the Bears will want to pay him what he’s worth and has claimed repeatedly that they are simply undervaluing him because they don’t believe in him.
I really doubt that is true. From the first time I saw him and heard him speak I’ve believed that Forte is everything a professional football player should be. What I’ve seen since certainly supports the notion. Forte is always the first one to run over to congratulate a teammate on a good play. In turn they always go to bat for him in the media, are always campaigning for him in his contract run, are always talking about what a great back he is and pointing out what a great person he is.
But Forte is only 25 and he certainly doesn’t yet understand many realities of life. He’s about to come to grips with one that everyone eventually faces: No one – and I mean no one – ever gets paid what they are worth. Certainly no one ever gets paid what they think they are worth. Not me, not you, not Lovie Smith, not Jerry Angelo, not even the Bears ownership. If we are realistic, most of us can accept that we are getting paid what is fair based upon the business situation of everyone involved. But it’s never what we’re worth.
Forte risks injury every game he plays. And the truth is that no one ever feels rich no matter how much they make. Most of us get used to it early on and we become grateful if we are lucky enough to be comfortable. Forte needs to accept a long term deal for what is still a very good salary to play with teammates who love him. No one will ever do better than that.