NY Jets: Team should take a chance on Matt Forte
The NY Jets might have to add another top running back heading into 2016 depending on how things pan out via free agency.
Is free agent running back Matt Forte a player the Jets want to sign for the future or will he be a risk for them to take? The Jets will have plenty of tough decisions to make in who they want as their featured running back.
Forte is someone who will make a NFL franchise better or he could hurt their franchise for how he plays the game. Forte has had a few up and down seasons these past couple of years. It will be interesting to see if the Jets will take a chance on him because Chris Ivory is eligible for free agency. Looking at his numbers this season, his production has dropped a very good amount in the total yards which were 898 and his yards per carry were at 4.1.
The Jets will like that he is a very physical runner but the question they are wondering is if he can stay healthy. Forte missed three games this season because of an ankle injury he suffered. Forte can be a game changer but my question is the age. Forte is 30 years old and the beating his body takes, I just think that’s a red flag as I wouldn’t commit to someone with those kind of issues. Forte could be brought in for the right price but not for a long-term contract.
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If the Jets were to sign him then he would take the place of Stevan Ridley who I thought was a non-productive player for the team this season. Forte can take the load off of Ivory if the Jets were to bring him back as well.
He didn’t receive a lot of carries this season because he split time with Jeremy Langford who was drafted by the team this season so he would be pretty excited to start off fresh on a new team, especially in the city that never sleeps.
As the season went on it seemed that Forte was someone the Bears weren’t really interested in. Langford was someone who they wanted to try to focus on because of his age and to develop him by giving significantly more playing time. Many teams in the league don’t like older running backs because they won’t get much production out of them.
If other teams were to sign Forte then he could be used as a third down running back because he was amongst the best in third down conversions early in his career. Forte could also be used as a receiver out of the backfield because he was very productive there as well. From looking at his stats, his career receiving average of 389 yards were his second lowest ever.
Sep 27, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) carries the football during the second quarter during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 26-0. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Most running backs aren’t productive coming out of the backfield attempting to catch a pass. Forte averaged about nine yards after the catch which could help out in key situations. If the Jets want to take a chance on him, this part of his skill-set would be a big help. The team will also have a healthy number one running back with Forte helping out in splitting the production.
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This off-season, many NFL teams including the Jets will have a chance to sign Forte and get a good running back. The question most will ask is how long will his contract be and the price. He has had a very good career in being able to play most of his seasons injury free. Time will tell to see how his body holds up and how productive he will be.
I think the Jets should try to take a chance on him, but for a small price because you won’t know how much he would be able to handle. When it comes to older running backs, I would only give them a one-year deal with an extension as a possibility if all goes well. Next season, Forte will be a productive player to whatever team he signs with the only question being if the Jets are willing to take a chance on him.