Chicago Bears: Place RB Matt Forte on the Trade Block?


The Chicago Bears put up a nice fight against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon, but they walked away with a loss to start their 2015 NFL regular season. The Bears looked better than most of us expected against a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but it is still fair to wonder whether the team is talented enough to make a real push for the postseason in 2015.

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In Week 2, the Bears host the Arizona Cardinals, before traveling out west to play the Seattle Seahawks. Packers, Cardinals and Seahawks is a rough way to start the season, and forgive me for thinking the Bears have little chance to do anything besides ending up 0-3 in that stretch.

The schedule lightens up after that, but I still have a hard time believing this is going to be a competitive team in 2015. Obviously, they would be unwise to give up on the season as we stand, but if they are sitting at 0-3 heading into Week 4, I think the Bears would be smart to consider shopping some players who are not expected to help the team in future seasons.

The player who immediate comes to mind as a possible trade chip is running Matt Forte, who is coming off of an impressive 24-carry 141-yard rushing performance in Week 1 against the Packers. Forte is one of the best players on the Bears’ roster, but his contract is up with the team after this season.

How will the Bears, likely to be in a rebuilding situation, value a 30-year-old back in the open market next off season? Only time will tell, but they would be wise to at least consider moving in another direction. Simply put, I would be surprised to see Forte back with the Bears next season.

Because of that, his value to the Bears is likely to only be through this season. Sure, he is going to be one of the obvious focal points of this Bears’ 2015 offense, but what does that really mean in a year where the team is extremely unlikely to compete? In my eyes, almost nothing.

Forte has much more value to the Bears’ organization as a whole as a trade chip, and unless they show signs of an unexpected surge towards the playoffs, making him clearly available to competitive teams makes the most sense.

It is nearly impossible to say what Forte would demand in value on the trade market. Teams would be unlikely to give up a ton for a near 30-year-old back who is on the last year of his contract. That being said, his Week 1 performance was impressive, and Forte would drastically improve the running back situations of many competitive teams around the NFL.

The Bears would receive offers if Forte was to be made available, that much is for sure. I am not saying that they will land an early round pick in next year’s draft, but why not take what you can get for a player who is unlikely to have a large impact on the organization as we move forward?

Next: Bears vs. Packers: Five Takeaways from Week 1

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