NFL

Top Five Landing Spots For Matt Forte

on

In what came as a somewhat surprising development to football fans across the country, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace let veteran running back Matt Forte know that he has no intentions of re-signing him.

“We recently met with Matt to inform him we will not extend a contract offer for the 2016 season,” Pace stated. “These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community. We have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

After receiving the news, Forte left this very heartfelt message on Instagram.


As the 30-year-old looks to take his talents elsewhere, one thing that won’t be too much of a factor is money.

“It’s not even about the money,” Forte stressed. “I want to be in the Super Bowl.”

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five best potential landing spots for the two-time Pro Bowler.

1. New England Patriots – One thing that’s simply remarkable about the Patriots dominance over the years is their lack of a rushing attack.

Sure, it’s a pass-happy league, but New England hasn’t had a big name back since Corey Dillon, which feels like forever ago. With that in mind, could you imagine if they were to sign someone like Matt Forte?

Four-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick surely loves what Forte can bring.

While the Patriots are high on 25-year-old Dion Lewis, the former Pittsburgh product is coming off a torn ACL and with LeGarrette Blount and Steven Jackson set to hit the free agent market, signing Forte just makes too much sense.

2. Seattle Seahawks – In the wake of Marshawn Lynch’s retirement announcement, the Seahawks find themselves lacking some depth in the backfield.

However, Thomas Rawls had an impressive rookie campaign.

The Michigan native rushed for 830 yards on 147 carries to go along with five total touchdowns (one receiving).

Despite those stellar numbers in year one, it would be foolish for Seattle to at least not give Forte a phone call or two.

It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll could sell Forte on postseason success. In the past three seasons, Seattle has appeared in the Super Bowl twice, while winning it two years ago.

Nonetheless, the Seahawks roster has tons of guys who will be hitting the open market in March, which could make the possibility of signing Forte doubtful, unless he’s willing to take a major pay cut.

3. Green Bay Packers – Don’t rule out the possibility of Forte pulling a ‘Julius Peppers’. After being released by the Bears two years ago, Peppers broke an unwritten rule, which was signing with rival Green Bay.

However, the signing by general manager Ted Thompson was uncharacteristic of him because he tends to lean on home grown talent, which reportedly has head coach Mike McCarthy upset.

According to several sources, McCarthy is fed up with his boss’ unwillingness to take a chance and reinforce the roster with veteran players that might be unknown to the Packers but have the talent to contribute.

Maybe, just maybe that report will push Thompson to be more open minded during this free agent period.

If so, don’t be surprised to see Green Bay aggressively go after Forte, who would be a great mentor for the struggling Eddie Lacy.

Could you imagine offensive sets featuring Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Matt Forte?

That’ll be a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.

4. Dallas Cowboys – Due to injuries, undisciplined play and just everyday Cowboys stuff, Jerry Jones’ team endured a (4-12) campaign this past season.

In order to get back into postseason play, getting and remaining healthy has to be priority number one for ‘America’s team’.

Tony Romo missed 12 games, while his partner in crime Dez Bryant missed seven games. It’s pretty difficult to replace a duo that has six Pro Bowl appearances between the both of them.

To the surprise of many, former Arkansas standout Darren McFadden provided Dallas consistency throughout the season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards for only the second time of his eight-year career to go along with three touchdowns.

At the same time, you better believe Jerry wouldn’t mind landing Forte.

Although McFadden displayed great durability his first year in Dallas, it’s still a risk expecting him to remain healthy, considering his history of injuries.

Forte has only missed eight games during his eight-year career.

5. Miami Dolphins – In comparison to the previous four teams, the Miami Dolphins are the furthest away from competing for a Super Bowl title.

Ever since their playoff berth back in 2008, Miami has been the definition of average, with records of 7-9 (3 times), 8-8 (twice) and 6-10 (twice) over the past seven seasons.

As mentioned before, Forte wants a chance to compete for a championship and while Miami doesn’t appear to be quite there yet, the x-factor could be Adam Gase.

Gase and Forte spent last season together in Chicago, where Gase was calling the offensive plays.

With the possibility of 24-year-old back Lamar Miller bolting for a bigger payday, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Gase go after his former guy.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.