By Shawn Muller-

(CBS) Production on the field is the deciding factor in whether or not a player gets paid like a star or a scrub. A guy can have all the talent in the world, but if he doesn’t display that talent on the field, he doesn’t get paid.

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte has put his talent on full display during his first three seasons in The Windy City, and the time is now for Jerry Angelo to open up the checkbook and pay the man what he is worth.

I don’t want to hear Angelo say that getting Forte a new deal could be a challenge. The guy has done everything and more for Chicago, so pony up the dough, Jerry.

He has done what you have asked, so follow through on your end.

Forte reported to camp on time instead of holding out for a new deal because Angelo told the running back that he was a priority and that a deal would get done. But Angelo seems to be waivering on his promise.

Yesterday, Angelo said, “It’s a negotiation, you got to find that common ground. That part of it will be a challenge.”

Where is the challenge, Jerry?

Yes it is a negotiation, but come on.

You can be motivated to get a deal done, but unless you follow through with your “intent”, you just come across as a blowhard. I am a bit confused as to what more Matt Forte really needs to do to get a restructured contract.

To me, it seems like paying the man would be a no brainer.

Forte is fifth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage since he entered the league in 2008 with 4,731. So who are the four players ahead of him? Just a couple of no-names like Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew, and Rams running back Stephen Jackson.

That is some pretty solid company to be associated with wouldn’t you say?  So what are these players scheduled to make in 2011?

drian Peterson is scheduled to make $7.7 million.  Stephen Jackson will make $7.2 million. Maurice Jones-Drew will make a nice $4 million-plus, and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson is due a ridiculous $800,000 (which is an even bigger joke than what Forte is scheduled to make).

So how much exactly is Forte due in 2011?


That is less money than players like Chris “Beanie” Wells, Rock Cartwright, Jeremy Cain, Danny Ware, and Chester Taylor, not to mention 30 other players with less production at the same position.

I understand that Forte is still under his original rookie contract, but throw the man a bone here, Mr. Angelo. Some players out perform their original deals, and the front office should reward those players.

But stop with excuses already. We know he is not a free agent.

We know other teams aren’t driving up the price tag on Forte because of a lack of a bidding war.

Don’t tell Bears fans’ and Mr. Forte that getting a restructured contract is THAT much harder to do than an unrestricted free agent deal because a player’s agent can’t use the open market to find a player’s “estimated” worth.

Forte is entering his 4th season with the Bears franchise, and you—and the rest of the Bears front office–have seen him perform every Sunday since 2008.

You know Forte’s worth and it is a lot more than $550,000.

shawn muller 2 9 Muller: Free Agent Or Not, It’s Time To Pay Forte

Shawn Muller

Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at Read more of his blogs here.

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