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Matt Forte To Miami ?

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  • Matt Forte To Miami ?

    People who win at chess know it isn’t just about the next move. They must think ahead. They must plan ahead. People who win at football, at building teams, do the same.
    With that in mind, the Miami Dolphins should now have running back Matt Forte suddenly and prominently on their radar.

    Forte, one of the most productive NFL running backs of his time, became available Friday when he revealed on Instagram (the modern news conference, apparently) that he had been informed the Chicago Bears would not re-sign him. He will be a free agent able to sign with any team starting March 9.

    This should tantalize the Dolphins because they could lose their own starting running back, Lamar Miller, in the same upcoming free agency period. I would even call that likely. The Dolphins have two frontline players hitting free agency in Miller and defensive end Olivier Vernon. They almost certainly won’t spend big to keep both ex-Canes, and I am told Vernon will be the priority.

    Miller departing means Miami would be counting on unproven 2015 rookie Jay Ajayi as their main back — unless they signed a veteran such as Forte.

    The idea is doubly plausible considering new Dolphins coach Adam Gase knows Forte well, having been Chicago’s offensive coordinator last season.

    Let me make clear: I’m only suggesting Forte-to-Miami as a serious consideration if A) Miller is not re-signed, and B) the price is right.

    Forte was in the $7 million salary range last year, but his earning power has likely peaked, if only because he just turned 30. I would be surprised if Miller, 26, and with a robust 4.6-yards per carry career average, does not attract more suitors and prove costlier to sign when free agency begins in less than a month.

    Forte’s bargaining power is diminished because 30 is a red flag age for running backs, but I would make two points. First, Adrian Peterson just won an NFL rushing title, and he’s nine months older. Second, Forte has shown little physical decline and has started 120 of a possible 128 games in his career, all with the Bears.

    The second of his two Pro Bowls came in 2013. He caught a career-high 102 passes in 2014. Since 2008 (his rookie season), Forte has more yards from scrimmage than anybody in the league. He is not a breakaway, home run back at this point but is a reliable workhorse, a first down-getter.

    And he would be the greatest dual-threat of any back the Dolphins have had. Put it this way: Forte has averaged — averaged — 61 catches across his eight seasons. The Dolphins have not had any running back catch more than Forte’s career average since 1995.

    Gase knows very well what a luxury it would be for a still-developing quarterback such as Ryan Tannehill to have behind him one of the NFL’s premier two-way backs. That option of a quick outlet pass to a back also would be a hedge that allows a quarterback to avoid sacks.

    Sometimes in sports there comes an availability that just makes sense, an availability that dovetails perfectly with a team’s situation.

    I felt that when the Marlins were looking for a manager and suddenly the Dodgers and Don Mattingly parted ways. How smart it would be if the Marlins spent to get him, right? (And how pleasantly surprising it was that they did.)

    Thought the same thing when the Hurricanes were shopping for a new football coach and suddenly Georgia and Mark Richt (a UM alum) parted ways. I thought signing Richt was a no-brainer; the Canes evidently agreed.

    Now I see the Dolphins prepared to possibly lose Miller in free agency as Forte suddenly reveals he will be available.
    Last edited by DolphinsFreak; 02-15-2016, 11:15 AM.

  • #2
    It makes some sense as they'll probably prioritize OV over Miller and we have Ajayi already in house. A cheaper, established vet for a 2 year contract works in our favor.


    • #3
      I love Forte and mentioned this very thing in the thread on 'cuts, releases & terminations', but i do wonder exactly how much he still has left in the tank..Counting both his rushing & his receiving, he's had to have had a lot of touches and almost ALL backs seem to go downhill super-quickly once they've crossed over into their thirties..Also, i've got to belive he'll look to sign with a contender (Dallas? New England??) because he would have pretty much a zero chance getting a ring in Miami before the wheels fall off in the next 2-3 years...


      • DolphinsFreak
        DolphinsFreak commented
        Editing a comment
        Hopefully there is some sort of friendship and/or connection between Forte and Gase. It didn't work out with the Packers Connection but in all fairness most players don't leave Green Bay. I would love to read the headline that Forte signed a 3 year contract with the Dolphins. I have liked him ever since he entered the NFL. RB's who are 3 down backs are my favorites and he is great at doing both. He would be a nightmare going to NE.

    • #4
      Originally posted by cuchulainn
      It makes some sense as they'll probably prioritize OV over Miller and we have Ajayi already in house. A cheaper, established vet for a 2 year contract works in our favor.
      It looks like the Dolphins plan to do the opposite as you suggested.

      As the Dolphins head into free agency, they’re prioritizing running back Lamar Miller.

      Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins are more bullish on Miller than on fellow free agent to be Olivier Vernon, and the Dolphins “definitely” want Miller back in 2016.

      But, of course, the question is whether the Dolphins will spend the money it takes. Beasley pegs Miller’s asking price at $5 million a year, which is a lot for a running back in today’s NFL. Last year, the only free agent running back who got more than $4 million a year was DeMarco Murray, who got a five-year, $40 million deal with the Eagles.

      In his four seasons with the Dolphins, Miller has 638 carries for 2,930 yards and 19 touchdowns. Last year he started all 16 games and had 194 carries for 872 yards and eight touchdowns.


      • cuchulainn
        cuchulainn commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm sure they'd like to have them both back...

        It'd be nice to have a running game the likes we haven't had since Ricky was his prime. I see that runner as more Ajayi than Miller tho...

      • DolphinsFreak
        DolphinsFreak commented
        Editing a comment
        It would be nice to have them both back. I am not a OV fan and I think the Dolphins can do better in the draft but then again, they have so many holes it would be nice to have a couple filled in free agency. It seems like Miller has been around a long time but he is only 24 years old. He has that going for him when the FO thinks about going in another direction. Forte is 30 and has taken a beating in Chicago behind that line but he still has 3-4 years left in the tank I think. Tough call in my opinion. I look for Ajayi to become the lead back in the near future so maybe if they could sign Forte on the cheap and draft a RB late in the draft that could be the way to go.

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