With the NFL’s Tuesday trade deadline looming, Chicago Bears wide receiver Matt Forte has been a name we have heard being circulated around the league as a potential player to be moved.
Forte turns 30 in December and is set to be a free agent in 2016, but count Bears quarterback Jay Cutler among those who don’t want to see him traded.
“I wouldn’t trade him for anybody else,” Cutler said of Forte, via the team’s official website. “He’s a three-down back. He does so much protection-wise. He does so much in the passing game. You can line him up in all different scenarios, all different sets. He gets the job done. He’s kind of a security blanket for us.”
Forte is more than a security blanket in the Bears’ offense — he is the essential piece of the puzzle. He has been credited with 72.4 percent of the Bears’ rushing carries and 75.4 percent of the team’s rushing yards this year.
Those numbers make Forte the leading NFL running back in these categories. For the team to ship him away while he is performing at the height of career would seem to be a risky move unless the compensation was too good to pass up.
Commenting on Forte’s age, offensive coordinator Adam Gase doesn’t seem to think the veteran will hit a wall when he turns 30.
“The age thing for him, I don’t even know if it’s relevant,” Gase said. “He’s playing at an elite level. He was leading the league in rushing there for a minute. We’ll see what happens in the next 10 games, but I’m pretty sure people know we’re going to try to get him the ball.”
While it appears unlikely the Bears are actually going to move Forte to a team in need of a running back, stranger things have happened. Chicago traded away top wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who has been a breath of fresh air to the New York Jets, for a lowly fifth-round draft pick.
If Forte does get dealt, we’d like to think that the Bears would go for higher price in return this time around.