It was an expected move by the Chicago Bears, but Matt Forte has announced the team won’t re-sign him after 8 seasons in the Windy City. Forte was drafted by the Bears in 2008 and is the team’s 2nd all-time leading rusher, behind only Walter Payton. Forte was a two-time Pro Bowler in Chicago.
The emergence of rookie Jeremy Langford made the decision to let Forte go a bit easier for the Bears’ front office. Langford is expected to be an every down back next season, substantially improving his fantasy stock.
One of the biggest names on the market this offseason will be Matt Forte. We’ll take a look at 5 teams who are likely to sign the veteran running back.
This is the team I view as the favorite for Forte. Dallas has a solid overall team, but injuries derailed their 2015 season. With a healthy Tony Romo next season, along with a much-needed spark in the backfield and a top 5 draft pick, the Cowboys could be the early favorite in the NFC East.
Without DeMarco Murray this past season, the Cowboys fielded one of the league’s worst running game. Joseph Randle was a failed experiment, and Darren McFadden can’t be a trusted starter in the league. Forte would provide a huge upgrade and be a menace behind the league’s best offensive line.
You know teams love to steal in-division players. Green Bay may pursue the services of Matt Forte, but I think the Lions will be right on his trail as well. With the retirement of Calvin Johnson, Detroit will be desperate to add another playmaker on offense. The Lions ranked last in rushing offense this past season. You know Jim Caldwell loves to pass the ball, and Forte is one of the best receiving backs in NFL history.
Ameer Abdullah had a solid rookie season, but the Lions could still use a spark in their backfield. Who better to mentor Abdullah than a veteran such as Matt Forte?
New England Patriots
You rarely see the Patriots make a splash in free agency, but I could see them pursuing a flash in the backfield this offseason. As long as Tom Brady is around, the Pats will always be a pass heavy team, which is a great fit for Forte’s style. Guys like Dion Lewis, LeGarrette Blount, James White and even Brandon Bolden were all solid last season, but none are quite the caliber running back as a Matt Forte.
If Forte wants a chance to win in his final years, he’ll join the Patriots – assuming they pursue him.
The Raiders are a borderline playoff team on the rise. While they need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball, I could see them making a run at Forte. Even though Latavius Murray brokeout with a 1,000 yard, Pro Bowl season, Oakland could use more depth at the running back position. Plyus
This is the wildcard team I can see pursuing and possibly landing the former Pro Bowl running back. Tennessee was the worst team in the league last season, but they have a solid overall build to the team. Of course they have their franchise QB in Marcus Mariota, and they can definitely use more reliability and consistency in a running game that ranked in the bottom 10 last season.
The revolving door that was Tennessee’s backfield featured subpar play all season long from Antonio Andrews, Bishop Sankey, among others. Forte would provide a sturdy, veteran presence and bring a lot of veteran savvy to a young offense.