Matt Forte has decided against a training camp holdout in hopes of forcing the Bears into an extension of his rookie contract, which he clearly has outperformed.
Forte is entering the final year of his original four-year deal that was worth a total of $3.8 million, including a $1.533 million signing bonus. His base pay for this season is $550,000, a pittance compared to the $12.5 million that the Bears wasted on Chester Taylor last year when he was an unrestricted free agent.
Taylor’s four-year deal featured $7 million in guaranteed money, including a $2 million signing bonus and a $4 million roster bonus, which he has already collected. For their money, the Bears got 267 rushing yards from Taylor on 112 carries, for a 2.4-yard average, one of the lowest in recent NFL history. Taylor also caught 20 passes for 139 yards, a 7.0-yard average.
Forte, who made a base salary of $470,000 last year, rushed for 1,069 yards on 237 attempts, for a career-best average of 4.5 yards per carry. Forte also tied for the team lead with 51 receptions and was third with 547 receiving yards.
As soon as the Bears finish re-signing all their own unrestricted free agents that they want back, the next order of business should be to take care of Forte.
As Teddy KGB said in "Rounders," "Pay that man his money."