Matt Forte and DeSean Jackson: A Tale of Two Contracts

Life is what you make it.

Not just a terrible song by Hannah Montana, (I don’t like that I know that) but it really is a choice that we have and no more does it ring true than looking at the seasons this year between the Chicago Bears Matt Forte and the Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson.

Jackson and Forte were in the exactly the same situation heading into this NFL season, both were coming off productive seasons and were among the best at the respective positions. Both were vital to their team’s success this season.

They both shared the same problem too, they were going to be vastly underpaid this season as they were under their rookie contracts, both had outplayed their rookie contracts and deserved to be paid. 

However, with no leverage, they were facing the same choice, either show up to camp and let their play do the talking or holdout have a bad attitude and let it be a distraction.

Jackson, after watching the Eagles pay Michael Vick and Nnamdi Asomugha big money, was visibly upset and decided to briefly holdout and as soon as he ended his holdout he made it clear he would play, but that he was not happy about it.

The “Dream Team” he was playing on has now turned into a nightmare. Jackson has amassed two total touchdowns while averaging a career low in numbers across his stat line.

Add in the fact that he was suspended recently for sleeping through a team meeting in a loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, his attitude has not only brought his game down, but his team’s chances of success. He has been the least important player (although it’s debatable on this team) on a losing team.

Jackson may have cost himself millions of dollars just by having a bad attitude, can you imagine any team let alone the Eagles rushing out to sign him to a big deal this off-season?

On the other side, Matt Forte decided not to holdout, to show up to camp on time and not say a word about not getting a new contract. If actions do speak louder than words, then Forte is sitting pretty.

He is averaging career highs in everything across the board, and now is a viable MVP contender, especially if he can keep the Bears rolling as quarterback Jay Cutler is out for an extended period of time. This year he has been the most important player on a winning team.

The Bears should be rewarding him this off-season with a hefty contract this off-season and if they don’t some other team will gladly do it.

Two players, same situation, different attitude, different result, and a possible difference in millions of dollars, just by having the right attitude when things weren’t going the way they probably thought they should be going.

They both had a choice, Forte just made the right one.

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