Thursday, September 1, 2011
BBAO: Key number in Matt Forte talks
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
On Wednesday, we discussed the Chicago Bears' negotiations with tailback Matt Forte in the context of other deals that have been reached around the NFL. Most recently, the San Francisco 49ers agreed on a three-year extension with tailback Frank Gore. The deal is worth $21 million and includes $13.5 million in guarantees.
How do the Bears value Forte, and how does he value himself? Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com gives us a glimpse by reporting the team has offered a deal that includes about $15 million guaranteed. Unknown at this point is how many years the Bears are offering; generally speaking, more years equals more guaranteed money.
The only urgency for either side to strike a deal at this point is that Forte's value could change once the regular season begins. An injury could lower his value, while some monster games could increase the commitment the Bears will need to make in order to secure him. I guess there is a concern about the distraction of negotiations during the regular season, but to me it's a positive to have a player motivated by as many factors as possible.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Few Bears starters are expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, according to Wright.
- The Bears have received a roster exemption for running back Harvey Unga, who has taken an extended leave of absence, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- The Bears aren't concerned about a lack of pass rush this summer, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Ramsey (Minn.) County Charter Commission will hold two public hearings and then decide whether to call a voter referendum on the Minnesota Vikings' stadium proposal. Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune has more.
- Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley has undergone hip surgery, according to Dave Campbell of the Associated Press.
- Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has been a work in progress this summer, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
- Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines a glaring mistake Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett made in last Friday's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
- Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks at some of the players on the bubble entering Thursday night's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will play a series at most and might not play at all Thursday night, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
- Most Detroit Lions starters will play briefly Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
- Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand, via Rod Beard of the Detroit News: "We've never had  guys that all 31 teams would trade their eye tooth for and we wouldn't give up for anything. That tells you something about where we've been, but more importantly, where we're going."
- Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams had a brutal but completely legal hit on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady last weekend, notes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.