Peter King includes RB Matt Forte and PR Devin Hester on his mid-season All-Pro team in Sports Illustrated this week.
King also names Forte his offensive player of the year, while choosing Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as the MVP.
As impressive as Forte has been running the ball for 672 yards and a 5.4-yard average, he might be even more valuable to the Bears as a receiver. He leads the team by a huge margin with 38 catches, and he also has a team-best 419 receiving yards.
In fact, Forte could actually be considered Jay Cutler’s go-to guy, given the absence of a No. 1 wide receiver on the team. I really can’t remember the last time Forte dropped a pass, and he’s averaging 11.0 yards per catch, more than a lot of wide receivers in the league.
However, I’m beginning to think Forte is getting bad advice by not accepting the Bears’ offer for a contract extension. He’s not going to get Chris Johnson-type money ($53.5 million for four years with $30 million guaranteed) from the Bears. And he’s not going to get it from anyone else. If he doesn’t agree to an extension before next year’s free agency, the Bears will surely slap the franchise tag on him, at least for 2012.
If Forte wants the security of a long-term deal with a big chunk of change up front, he should stop whining about it and take the $14-$15 million or so guaranteed that the Bears are offering. If he suffers a serious injury this season, he’ll never see anything close to that.
Forte is almost halfway toward having one of the all-time great seasons, but it’s the first dominant one of his career. He was very good last season, but not Chris Johnson good.
As Forte sets his sights on Johnson’s NFL-record 2,509 yards from scrimmage, he should keep in mind that CJ2K set that record in 2009. He didn’t get his big payday until two months ago.