Brad Biggs wrote an article for The National Football Post on October 31st in which he suggested the Bears may be better off signing other upcoming free agents on their roster rather than Matt Forte. Some of the players he suggested resigning were listed as follows: WR Earl Bennett, C Roberto Garza, DE Israel Idonije, CB Tim Jennings, DT Amobi Okoye. The contracts expiring in 2012 include CB D.J. Moore, WR Johnny Knox, and DT/DE Henry Melton.
I have a simple answer for Biggs.
These players collectively are not worth to the team what Matt Forte is.
Earl Bennett is a fine possession receiver, however the Bears could retain Dane Sanzenbacher at half the cost it would take to retain Bennett. Tim Jennings would probably not be starting at cornerback for at least 25 teams in the league. The only reason he and D.J. Moore are valuable is the fact that the Bears have been unable to develop lasting cornerbacks with the exception of Charles Tillman.
Amobi Okoye is doing well this season, but he is a reserve at best. The Bears have already resigned Anthony Adams, and Matt Toeaina at defensive tackle, and 2nd round pick Stephen Paea looks as if he will be a strong contributor for years to come. Johnny Knox is a fan favorite in Chicago and a solid slot receiver, on the other hand, he will never develop into a number one receiver so it is useless to sign him to a large contract.
Israel Idonije had a big year last year with 8 sacks, however he has failed to make a large impact this year and when Corey Wootton returns from injury he could be replaced in the lineup. That leaves us with Henry Melton. Melton has been a pleasant surprise but one cannot help wonder is the because of Julius Peppers presence next to him.
You could afford to bring back at least two of these people in addition to Forte. Why wouldn’t you do that? Forte is the key to the offense. He has defied common sense by being so successful rushing behind the worst offensive line in football. In addition to his talents running the ball, he has developed into one of the best pass catching running backs in football. He is the only reason the Bears offense is able to put points on the board. We saw the results earlier this year. When Mike Martz was not giving him the ball enough, we were blown out by the Saints and beat handedly by the Packers. If you lose Forte, you not only lose a fantastic player, you lose the confidence of your fan base and ultimately your job.
Jerry Angelo I am speaking to you. Bears fans are loyal, but when you defy their strongest wishes and are proven wrong ( which you will be) they will call for your resignation.