In case you missed it, the Bears officially informed Forte that they won’t be extending him a contract offer in the coming weeks, and will instead allow him to move on.
Field Yates writes that the first team that comes to mind as a fit for Forte is the Patriots, who are expected to be in the market for a running back this offseason. Yates mentions that Dion Lewis will be coming off of a torn ACL while LeGarrette Blount and Steven Jackson are free agents, so they may prefer to bring in a proven and dependable option like Forte. Also, New England would give him an opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl, which may be worth taking less money next year.
Todd Archer believes Forte could be an option for the Cowboys, depending on his asking price. However, Archer adds that Forte will be on the wrong side of 30 and the team has been reluctant to spend big on running backs.
John Keim mentions that Forte would be a fit in Washington, but he too cites Forte’s age and asking price as two deterrents for him signing with the Redskins.
Washington will be looking to upgrade their running back position, which could lead to them allowing Alfred Morris to walk, so this could come down to the kind of offers he receives from prospective teams.
Tania Ganguli writes that Arian Foster‘s $9 million cap figure and injury history could lead to the Texans moving on from him this offseason. While Forte is a veteran running back, she doesn’t think he would be a bad fit in the Texans’ offense, and would come at a reduced rate from what Foster is in line to make.
Rich Cimini suggests that if the Jets were to have interest in Forte, it could be just as a third-down running back who would replace Bilal Powell in their offense. New York has their top three running backs — Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley — in line to be free agents this offseason, so they’ll need to address the position one way or another in the coming months. It’s worth mentioning that they do have some cap issues that could prevent them from spending on a running back.
Even though the Jaguars drafted T.J. Yeldon in the second round last year, Michael DiRocco doesn’t rule out Jacksonville having interest in Forte and believes they could use him as a change-of-pace back. Of course, Forte would have to be willing to accept this kind of role, and there’s also the issue of whether he’d be willing to sign for a reasonable salary.
The Broncos, Seahawks and Saints are also covered in the article, but it seems unlikely that they’ll be looking to spend money on the running back position.
Forte, 30, he has played out his four-year, $30.4 million contract that included $13.8 million guaranteed. He’s now in position to be one of the best available running backs in this year’s free agent market.
In 2015, Forte has appeared in 13 games and ran for 898 yards on 218 carries (4.1 YPC) to go along with 44 receptions for 389 yards receiving and seven total touchdowns for the Bears. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 19 running back out of 68 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2016 Free Agents list.