Late last week it was announced that star running back of the Chicago Bears, Matt Forte, will not be re-joining the team next season. Forte was informed by General Manager Ryan Pace that he was not a part of the team’s future plans. Forte wrote on Instagram “Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end…. I will remain grateful for my time spent in Chicago and being able to play for an organization with such a rich history”. You can clearly see Forte’s gratitude towards Chicago for his 8,602 yard, 8-year career. However, with this news, we have to ask the question, where will Forte be playing in 2016. Teams should be wary of signing an aging running back, just ask the Philadelphia Eagles!
1. New England Patriots
A popular choice for Forte would be the Patriots. New England are desperate for a lead back after having to be led by an aging Steven Jackson in the play-offs. Forte could complement up and coming rusher Dion Lewis, who missed the end of last year through injury. Lewis and Forte are both great pass catchers and can give opponents something else to worry about. All-time great coach Bill Belichick would be able to create a game plan around Forte and Lewis, helping to take the pressure off Tom Brady. On Forte’s Instagram account he states that he is “trying to win a championship”, New England may give him the best chance of achieving his goal. The Pats could have the most dynamic back-field in the league, not that they need any more help!
2. New York Jets
With Chris Ivory unlikely to re-sign with gang green, and Bilal Powell’s future in doubt, could the Jets be in the mix for signing Forte? They have always been based off their running game, with the ability to play action and hit aerial duo Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Last season, New York looked impressive when Ivory was thundering through defenders, easing the pressure off Ryan Fitzpatrick. On the other hand, they struggled without the ground and pound Ivory, this was shown in the loss to the Oakland Raiders, where the missing Ivory was apparent.
3. Dallas Cowboys
This is the obvious choice. With the All-Pro offensive line that the Cowboys boast, Forte would surely be able to carve up defences. Last season, that line made mediocre Darren McFadden look like an above average starter, running for over 1000 yards in just 10 starts. Forte may not be able to win a championship in Dallas but he would be the lead back, allowing him to rack up some yards, helping to solidify his chances of getting into Canton. This move would scream Jerry Jones, who loves to make a splash in free agency.
4. Tennessee Titans
Maybe an odd choice for Forte, but not for the Titans. The Titans now believe they have a franchise quarterback under centre, in Marcus Mariota, now all the need is a franchise running back. Many experts believe that the Titans will improve their offensive line in this year’s draft, with Tunsil being the favourite. Should the receivers continue to improve, especially Green-Beckham, Forte, partnered with David Cobb and this new and improved offensive line, could make the Titans offence something to look forward to next year. They definitely have the cap room to facilitate bringing in Forte, which could help bring the Titans out of the NFL abyss.
Overall, it all depends on what Forte really wants, money or a ring? Should it be the latter, unfortunately for most, I could definitely see Forte take a pay cut to sign with the Patriots. Although, most would love to see Forte bring hope to a sorry franchise such as the Titans.