Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. The Lions defeated the Bears 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quite a rebuilding project on his hands. In the next phase of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we look at the players who are currently on the Bears roster. We’ll look back at their 2014 season and look ahead to how they might fit into the team’s plans in 2015.
Matt Forte, Running Back, Age 29 – Last Year of Contract
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Matt Forte played lights out in 2014. Forte set an NFL record for most receptions by a running back with 102, a record held by Larry Centers’ in 1995. With 808 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns, Matt Forte was more productive than most wide receivers in the league. His rushing statistics were not too shabby either. With 266 rushing attempts, Forte had 1,038 yards, with a 3.9 yard average per attempt and 6 rushing touchdowns. Matt Forte was the Bears offense in 2014. I don’t know why or how he did not get voted to his 3rd pro bowl.
Matt Forte was drafted in the second round by the Bears out of Tulane in the 2008 NFL draft. His rookie year he broke Bears franchise records for rushing yards and scrimmage yards by a rookie and became the 2nd rooking running back in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards and catch more than 60 receptions. According to ChicagoBears.com, he ranks second in Bears franchise history in yards from scrimmage and rushing yards and fifth in rushing touchdowns. He also ranks third in franchise history in catches and 14th in receiving yards. Matt Forte is shaping up to be one of the most prolific running backs in Bears history behind Walter Payton and Gale Sayers.
I know that the Bears are planning on running the ball a lot more this season with new Head Coach John Fox calling the shots. Some would think that Matt Forte’s best years are behind him, but with the way he takes care of his body, I am sure that Matt Forte has a couple years left at an elite level. The question is do the Bears want to try and use his value to trade for some draft picks, or do they want to use him for the ground and pound attack that John Fox is going to demand.
If the Bears were going to trade Matt Forte, I think they would have already found a team willing to do so. The Bears are probably going to be using a two back system similar to how Fox ran the ball when he was in Carolina. I am expecting the Bears to keep Matt Forte, possibly sign another running back in free agency who can pound the ball through the tackles. I would love to see the Bears sign a back who is similar to Matt Forte to share the carries. Possibly Pierre Thomas who was cut by the Saints last week. Thomas is a dual threat running back with great hands and always seems to break through tackles. Plus, Ryan Pace is already familiar with him from his years with the Saints. Thomas would be a great fit for the Bears.
What do you think about Matt Forte? Do you think the Bears should try and trade him? What do you think his role will be with the Bears in 2015? Let me know in the comments section below.