Buccaneers: Matt Forte would be a stabilizing force in the running game
The Buccaneers should look to New York and Matt Forte to stabilize the running attack.
The NFL had better be ready for the Buccaneers passing attack. It has the makings of being one of the most dangerous in the entire league. We all know that with players like Mike Evans, Cameron Brate, and Adam Humphries, it was already tough to stop. Add DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard to the mix and you have potentially a very special group of pass receivers.
But the running game is a different story. Where is it going to come from? The team has been singing the praises of Doug Martin, but we have talked about how that could be to drum up interest. Some still believe he is not in the team’s future plans. SI believes that Jeremy McNichols may be the Bucs running back of the future. But that is still what it is, the future. Jacquizz Rodgers was the 2016 leader, but he has never done it for a full year, and I don’t think many people have much faith left in Charles Sims.
What is a team to do?
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Our friends at the Ira Kaufman podcast came up with a very interesting answer (via Joe Bucs Fan). They believe that the Bucs should look up north to a team that is sending veterans away for the answer. The suggestion was Matt Forte and the suggestion is a great idea.
First and foremost, the Bucs are a team built to win now. 2017 is set to be the year they take that next step. McNichols may be the future guy, but if he doesn’t flash right away, they are going to need someone to be “the guy” while he grows into the role. They cannot handicap the offense by shortchanging the running game.
For anyone who hasn’t noticed, the Jets have been stripping the team of nearly all of their veteran players. They are in the midst of a youth movement, rebuilding for the future. As of this writing, they have four guys on the 90 man roster that are 30 years old or older. They don’t really need Matt Forte anymore. Without him, Bilal Powell would take over, and his running back coach believes that Powell has Pro Bowl potential if he gets the ball.
After releasing Eric Decker, it’s not as if they are leaving the young quarterbacks with a lot of fruit on the vine at wide receiver. They might as well keep the movement going without Forte.
Make no mistake, Doug Martin is not trusted the way he was back in 2015. The Bucs can say all they want, there is no way he is at that level yet. He has only had a couple of practices without pads. He wasn’t running well in 2016 and now he is serving a suspension. They can tell you he looks like Jim Brown until they are blue in the face, take it with a grain of salt. Jeremy McNichols wouldn’t be here if Doug Martin was the old Doug Martin.
Matt Forte has gas left in the tank. He ran for over 800 yards on a bad Jets team in 2016, including two 100-yard performances, and three 90+ yard performances. His numbers would have been far better if the Jets had been any good. They would have been superb with the type of weapons the Bucs have on the field. Besides anything else, we can all agree that Winston is several steps up from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Jets aren’t going to release Forte. He would carry $6 million in dead cap space (per Spotrac). Jason Licht should kick the tires here, however, because the Jets are looking to go youth. If they can bring Forte in for a reasonable draft pick or two, he should give it serious consideration. The guy has averaged 1,000 yards rushing per season (1,046) and has quality play left in him. He could help cash in on the ride to the next level.
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Bucs fans, what do you think? Should the team give the Jets a call about Forte? Let us know.