After eight years in Chicago, a period in which he led running backs in catches, receiving yards and total touches, Matt Forte was told he will not be re-signed by the Chicago Bears, just a month after turning 30.
For a club in the market for a versatile, experienced running back that can catch the football and does not have to be an “every down” guy, there is now an excellent candidate on the market.
What’s more, Forte has made it clear that he is not in it for the money; rather he’s in it to win SuperBowls, meaning he can be bought for a reasonable sum.
So which teams could do with a Matt Forte lining up for them behind the line of scrimmage?
New England Patriots
Bill Belicheck does not exactly have a reputation for handing out even as little as Forte would be asking to running backs, but this link may be one that’s too good to turn away.
New England love Forte type backs – those that are sure-handed with the ability to catch passes. As per the stats mentioned, Forte does that arguably better than anyone in the league.
However with Dion Lewis returning from an acl injury, and James White showing positive signs towards the end of the season, it seems that despite popular opinion, it is unlikely the Patriots bring Forte aboard.
New York Jets
Both the New York Jets’ running backs, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, are expected to test free agency this off-season, and it’s more than likely one of them leaves.
While the Jets are not in the same ballpark of contending as a Patriots or a Packers, and in that case would likely need to cough up more for Forte’s services, they could offer him a far translucent role than other teams would.
Todd Bowles’ offence sat right outside the top-10 this year, coming in at #11. Adding the uniqueness of Forte to the fold may be what is required to clinch a playoffs spot.
Green Bay Packers
Much like Bill Belicheck, Green Bay Packers gm Ted Thompson is usually unwilling to dig deep when it comes to free agency, meaning head coach Mike McCarthy would have to do some convincing.
Making things less likely is the fact that Forte just spent eight years running the football for GBs’ number one enemy – the Chicago Bears.
However, if backup running back James Starks leaves for more money or opportunity in the off-season, that leaves the Packers very thin at the position.
As far as playing time and contending for the Super Bowl goes, the Green Bay Packers are almost the perfect destination for Matt Forte.
Again, Miami are not a contender – they went just 6-10 this season. However new coach Adam Gase was last year employed as the Bears’ offensive coordinator.
Matt Forte has not made secret his admiration for Gase either, going as far to say, “I love Adam Gase”.
With star running back Lamar Miller a real possibility to leave this off-season, Forte could come right in and resume work where he left off in Chicago.
Where do you think Forte might fit in? Tell us in the comments below