Bears’ D’Onta Foreman: I’d tell young players to not play RB

Foreman, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal to join the Bears this offseason, weighed in on what has become one of the league’s hottest topics: the perception that running backs are underpaid.

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Bears running back D’Onta Foreman works on the field during practice last month.

Bears running back D’Onta Foreman works on the field during practice last month.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

D’Onta Foreman loves playing running back. But he wouldn’t recommend it to the next generation.

“My advice to guys now? Definitely try to play something else,” he told the Sun-Times on Thursday. “You play kicker, you’re probably making more money than some of the running backs in this league.”

Foreman, who signed a one-year, $2 million deal to join the Bears this offseason, weighed in on what has become one of the league’s hottest topics: the perception that running backs are underpaid.

Some of the league’s top backs held a video conference this week to brainstorm ways to seek higher paychecks. Franchise-tagged running backs make less than any position group other than special teams, and by-committee platoons have watered down even the high end of the free-agent market.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday that any changes to the NFL’s salary structure because of the complaints of one position group would be “inappropriate.”

Neither Foreman nor teammate Khalil Herbert — who led all running backs in yards per carry last year — was invited to the conference call. Foreman said he feels like players don’t have control over running-back salaries.

“What we’re asked to do — some guys playing special teams, catching the ball, running the ball, blocking — that’s pretty much football,” he said. “And then you do that at a high level, and you do it for so long, [then] they tell you you’re used up. It sucks.”

Herbert is evidence that the new strategy is financially sound — a sixth-round pick made good. But he wants things to change.

“Our position is very valuable,” he said. “We do everything. . . . Just want to see guys get paid.”

Stadium talk

Bears president Kevin Warren met again with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson this week. In a joint statement, they promised “regular dialogue” going forward.

The team has been widely expected to continue moving forward on an indoor stadium in Arlington Heights after purchasing the 326-acre Arlington Park property. As they negotiate with Arlington Heights on taxes, the Bears also have been in conversations with other suburbs about relocating.

Demolition is underway on the new site, but there’s plenty left to settle before they would start building, and they have a lease with the city through 2033.

Sanborn progressing

The Bears are taking it slowly with players coming off injuries, and linebacker Jack Sanborn hasn’t practiced in full during the first two days of training camp. They’ve taken a similar approach with wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Both players suffered season-ending ankle injuries last fall.

“I’m going to trust the training staff on that,” Sanborn said. “We’re just making sure we’re OK, doing a little ramp-up period. Whenever they think that I’m full go, I’ll be out there.”

When Sanborn returns, he’ll be clawing for playing time yet again. The Bears signed free-agent linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards in the offseason and have high expectations for fifth-round pick Noah Sewell.

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