Predicting the Matt Forte Contract

Predicting the Matt Forte Contract
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Contract Forecast: Matt Forte

The Bears vocal Running Back is demanding a long-term deal to supercede his franchise tag. A string of injuries and the recent signing of Michael Bush may thwart that idea though. Spotrac takes a look at Matt Forte's statistical comparison to running backs notably similar, and uses their recent contract signings to generate a prediction for his upcoming signing.

To find our answers we'll break down the numbers for Rushing Yards per year, Average Yards per Carry, Rushing TD per year, Receiving Yards per year, Average Yards per Reception, Receiving TD per year, and Games Played.
Comparable Running Backs
To generate a prediction the Spotrac team determined that Maurice Jones Drew, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, and Fred Jackson were viable targets to breakdown. Here we display the noted statistics for each back over his career and over the last two years, resulting in a percentage of how the player was performing prior to signing his deal.
Matt Forte (CHI) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Rushing Yards/Year1,0581,03398%
Average Yards/Carry4.24.7112%
Rushing TD/Year5.254.586%
Receiving Yards/Year496.25518.5104%
Average Yards/Reception8.910.05113%
Receiving TD/Year22100%
Games Per Year151493%
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Rushing Yards/Year84477091%
Average Yards/Carry4.834.491%
Rushing TD/Year11.310.593%
Receiving Yards/Year469.3486104%
Average Yards/Reception9.69.65101%
Receiving TD/Year1.33175%
Games Per Year15.615.599%
Arian Foster (HOU) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Rushing Yards/Year1,0321,420138%
Average Yards/Carry4.74.6599%
Rushing TD/Year9.6713134%
Receiving Yards/Year438610.5139%
Average Yards/Reception10.310.4101%
Receiving TD/Year1.332150%
Games Per Year11.614.5125%
LeSean McCoy (PHI) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Rushing Yards/Year1,0091,194118%
Average Yards/Carry4.85104%
Rushing TD/Year9.312129%
Receiving Yards/Year405453.5112%
Average Yards/Reception7.37.197%
Receiving TD/Year1.671.67100%
Games Per Year15.31598%
Fred Jackson (BUF) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Rushing Yards/Year758.8930.5123%
Average Yards/Carry4.64.85105%
Rushing TD/Year3.25.5172%
Receiving Yards/Year307328.5107%
Average Yards/Reception8.89.1103%
Receiving TD/Year0.81125%
Games Per Year13.21398%
Taking a look at these breakdowns shows that while statistically his numbers are comparable to these running backs, he hasn't exceeded his career numbers in the recent snapshot. In short, he's essentially the same back today that he was 4 years ago. In fact in terms of the Bears, he appears to be most valuable as a receiving threat, and less valuable as a touchdown producer.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Maurice Jones-Drew 5 $30.95 million $6.19 million 24
Arian Foster 5 $43.5 million $8.7 million 25
LeSean McCoy 6 $45.615 million $7.602 million 23
Fred Jackson 3 $10.805 million $3.601 million 31
Average 4.75 $6.523 million 25.75
Forte is currently 26, so our averages seem to be in-line with the variables we're using in comparison.
Length of the Contract
At age 26 and the norm for running back shelf-lives around 31 years of age in the current NFL, a five year contract is considered to be of value to the Bears. But injuries, the addition of Michael Bush, and solid but not elite numbers from Forte over his career mean a contract with the Bears is more likely to be for four years.

Value of the Contract
While he deserves to be de-valued a year for the factors mentioned above, financially he should be set to earn right along with the players noted here. Our numbers resulted in a $6.5 million per year average which over four years pays him just over $26 million.
Spotrac's Prediction: 4 years, $26,092,000