Free-agent-to-be Matt Forte announced he will not be returning to the Chicago Bears for his ninth NFL season, today. The parting of ways is a team decision and now plenty of people seem to think Forte will join former teammate Julius Peppers with the Green Bay Packers.
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) February 12, 2016
The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs shared a similar sentiment.
The question now is where will Forte land? As an excellent receiver out of the backfield, he would be an ideal fit for the Green Bay Packers, who got underwhelming production from Eddie Lacy last season. It makes sense as James Starks is a free agent. While Packers GM Ted Thompson rarely ventures into free agency, he hit with former Bears defensive end Julius Peppers two years ago and could look to Forte.
Does Forte make sense for the Packers?
He makes a lot of sense.
Starks will be a free agent and although he’s coming off his most productive season (career-high 601 rushing yards and 392 receiving yards), he’ll turn 30 on the 25th of February.
Forte turned 30 in December, but has been a No. 1 back throughout his career. Starks is a career backup and thus, the two players’ career stats tell the story. Starks has 2,361 rushing yards, 3,244 total yards and 13 total touchdowns in his six-year career. Forte has 8,602 rushing yards, 12,718 total yards and 64 total touchdowns in his eight-year career.
Forte would be an upgrade for the Packers in the talent department.
He would also be a capable starter if Eddie Lacy can’t get out of his own way.
Starks’ advantage in this scenario is that he’ll come at a cheaper price.
We’ve seen this many times before. We fully expect the Packers to make a lowball offer to Forte if they make an offer at all. At that point, he’ll need to decide if he wants a paycheck and a shot at a starting spot or if he wants a shot at a Super Bowl (and/or to stick it to the Bears).
That decision could be moot if the Seattle Seahawks get involved, however.
With Marshawn Lynch retiring, Seattle can provide Forte with a desirable contract, a starting job and a shot at the Super Bowl.
So while Forte may be a great fit for the Packers, the Packers may not be a great fit for Forte.