“There’s only so many times a man that has done everything he’s been asked to do can be disrespected!” Forte tweeted. “Guess the good guys do finish last.”
The franchise tag means that Forte will be paid $7.74 million, which is a more than $7 million raise from 2011. He rushed for 997 yards in 12 games (he missed the last four because of a knee injury) and it isn’t clear what kind of money he’s seeking — or whether he’s an elite running back. The Bears, Sean Jensen writes at SunTimes.com, aren’t likely to give him $8 million, if that’s what he wants. Forte clarified that his issue isn’t with Bush or with the team stockpiling bodies at his position.
Bush, who signed a four-year, $14-million contract (with $7 million guaranteed), rushed for 977 yards in 16 games with the Oakland Raiders. “I can understand where the guy is coming from. Everything they’ve asked, he’s done,” Bush said. “You want to be rewarded for your success. But that has nothing to do with me.
“I’m just glad I’m on this team.”
The Bears, Jensen points out, have spent lavishly on backup running backs in the past, paying Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor and Marion Barber $13.3 million for four combined seasons (38 games, two starts, 260 carries, 798 yards and nine touchdowns).
“Why keep paying backups big [money] every [year]? Crazy!” Greg Olsen, a former tight end with the Bears, tweeted. “Matt deserves better. ... All I'm saying is take care of workhorse first then find his backup. Matt been best player for yrs.”