Ex-Bears RB Throws Major Shade at Former GM: He ‘Lied to Me’

Matt Forte Bears GM comments

Getty Former Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte

Like many, former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte watched The Last Dance, ESPN’s documentary series about the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. While watching the first two episodes Sunday evening, Forte took to Twitter to share a few thoughts about his former team apparently sparked by the docuseries. When ex-NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted out a reference to former Bulls’ GM Jerry Krause, who many blame for ruining the late-90s Bulls dynasty, Forte chimed in. “One man’s ego ruined one of the greatest teams in any sport,” Smith tweeted.

“Having played in Chicago for almost a decade, this seems to be our Achilles Heel,” Forte said in response.

Forte played in Chicago for eight seasons (2008-2015) notching five 1,000 yard seasons in that time while making two Pro Bowls. He went on to share more than a few thoughts about his treatment from multiple GMs during his tenure with the Bears.

Matt Forte: ‘I Knew I Was Just a Number’

When his initial tweet began to garner some quizzical responses, Forte clarified.

“Y’all asking for details so here’s just a few examples. Lovie wins 10 games but gets fired. New GM (Emery) comes in and basically tried to get rid of the entire (Lovie Tampa 2 Def.) The way 54 was treated at the end of his career along with 55 and 33. So I knew I was just a number.”

Forte was referring, of course, to Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, along with Bears greats Lance Briggs and Charles “Peanut” Tillman, all of whom were core veterans who were treated cavalierly at the end of their careers by former Bears GM Phil Emery. Forte also referenced former Bears head coach Lovie Smith, who was fired after a 10-6 season, which Forte felt was unjust.

Jerry Angelo served as the Bears general manager from 2001-2011. Angelo hired Lovie Smith in 2004, and after the 2006 season, the Bears made their only Super Bowl appearance since their 1986 win. Phil Emery took over after Angelo was let go, and Emery was there from 2012-2014. He fired Smith in 2012 and replaced him with Marc Trestman, with catastrophic results. Ryan Pace took over after the 2014 season, and is now in a make or break season with the Bears, so the GM carousel has not been kind to the Bears. According to Forte, it wasn’t kind to him, either.

Matt Forte: ‘I Played Under Rookie Deal … While Punter Made $4.5 Million’

Forte did not mince words when talking about former Bears GM Angelo, either. “Jerry lied to me in camp in 2011. Told my agent and I he’d negotiate a new deal in ‘good faith’ lol I ended up playing under rookie deal 600K making the pro bowl but season ended with MCL sprain while punter made 4.5M. #Facts.”

Forte was referencing former Bears punter Adam Podlesh, who had just signed a five-year, $10 million contract with $3.5 million in guaranteed money at the time.

“Sorry Chicago this # lastdance doc got me fired up about how great the teams I played on could’ve been,” Forte tweeted towards the end of the night.

Forte arrived shortly after the Bears’ Super Bowl appearance in February of 2007, and he watched as the great defense from that team was slowly disbanded over the following seasons. He also played through the Marc Trestman years, so his perspective is a unique one.

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