It appears as if the Chicago Bears are already preparing to throw in the towel on the 2015 NFL season, after trading away Jared Allen and Jon Bostic last week. Shortly after those deals, Willie Young reportedly asked for a trade and the rumors circulating through the football world insist that the team is listening to offers for Matt Forte. Chicago is not simply going to give Forte away but, they will certainly move him for the right offer. The question is, which team is most in need of acquiring the 30-year-old versatile running back from the Bears?
When it comes to landing big names, you always have to figure that the Dallas Cowboys are going to make some noise. Jerry Jones does not enjoy being outbid for anything. One time, I even heard that he tracked down a user on eBay who outbid him for a box of Mr. T cereal. Whew. When it comes to speculating on marquee names, the Cowboys are like the New York Yankees. Whether or not they have serious interest, the rumors will persist while the team at least does its due diligence. In this case, the Cowboys have been less than thrilled with Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden. If Forte does become available, expect the Cowboys to make a phone call.
What about the Denver Broncos? C.J. Anderson has been a bit of a bust. Ronnie Hillman may be more suited to serve in a complimentary role. Denver still has Super Bowl aspirations but, with a declining Peyton Manning, the Broncos could benefit greatly from a significant upgrade in the backfield.
The New England Patriots never shy away from bringing in a big name although, in the past, it has been a player with some baggage. Forte has no baggage in terms of off-field issues yet, he is getting up there in terms of running back age. Still, he is playing at a high level and may be able to really teach Dion Lewis a lot at this stage of his career. Depending on the cost, the move may make sense.
As far as the New York Giants are concerned, they play in a division that is wide open. Rashad Jennings has not been a great free agent signing. Andre Williams is hardly the back in the NFL that he was at Boston College. The Giants could take a lot of pressure off of Eli Manning if opposing defenses had to respect the run game a bit more. I am not saying that the Giants would actively pursue Forte but, if they were smart, they would at least consider the possibility.
When you think of the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, you immediately think disappointment. Andrew Luck has played poorly. Andre Johnson appears to be done. Frank Gore is a bit inconsistent and Chuck Pagano already said that he does not expect to be back after this season. This team was built to win this year. What if the Colts were to shift Gore to a third down role or reduce his number of carries and use Forte as the dominant back? Luck could throw a lot more screen passes while T.Y. Hilton speeds downfield to throw off the defense. It may be a pretty good fit.
Finally, you have to mention the Miami Dolphins. Talk about a mess. The Dolphins have been hyped as potential Super Bowl candidates for years now. They can’t even make the playoffs. Miami fired Joe Philbin on Monday, which is a good start. The rest of the coaching staff still needs to go but, all is not completely lost for the ‘Fins. Lamar Miller is either not as good as he first appeared, or he is simply not being utilized in the best way. If it is the former, then landing a player such as Forte may prove to be a saving move for a team desperate to make a push to finish the season on a high note.