30-year old running backs have never been players highly coveted in free agency unless they’re quarter backs. This off-season, the New York football Giants should make an exception and go after Matt Forte to be their running back next season.
Forte has been the one of the most used running back in the league over the last few years. In 2014 alone, he not only rushed the ball 266 times, but caught 102 passes as well. Forte has only missed eight games in eight seasons, so for you math majors out there, one game per year.
The Giants have zero stability in their backfield. Rashad Jennings came into the season the clear favorite, with Andre Williams likely to vulture carries, and Shane Vereen coming in on most passing downs. That has now transformed into a four running back rotation with the addition of Orleans Darkwa, who may be the best of the four.
Here’s a breakdown of all four Giants backs:
- Rashad Jennings: 116 carries, 431 yards, 3.7 YPC, one touchdown
- Shane Vereen: 51 carries, 216 yards, 4.2 YPC, zero touchdown’s
- Andre Williams: 71 carries, 202 yards, 2.8 YPC, one touchdown
- Orleans Darkwa: 33 carries, 134 yards, 4.1 YPC, one touchdown
Now here’s Forte at 30 (Note: He missed three games):
- Matt Forte: 181 carries, 721 yards, 4.0 YPC, four touchdowns
Now, let’s not forget how well both Vereen and Forte catch the ball out of the backfield. The stats they’ve accumulated on the ground is only a small sliver of what they do as a whole.
Some of you are going to ask “what about Vereen? He and Forte are similar players.” I completely disagree. Sure, they are both fantastic catching passes out of the backfield. Both block well (enough) for their respective QB’s to have time to get rid of the ball. But Vereen can’t run in-between the tackles and grind out yards like Forte can and has every year of his career.
If Forte is signed, that means you would obviously have to dispose of one or two of the current running backs on the team. First one to go is Andre Williams. He has no side-to-side quickness and has one ability and that’s running north. That obviously hasn’t been much of a skill either as he’s only averaging 2.8 yards per carry. He can’t catch the ball AT ALL, so when he’s in the game, teams can put eight in the box because they know his only use is running straight ahead. Second one to go would be Rashad Jennings. Jennings is a skilled back, but if you bring in Forte, he’s too costly to have as nothing more than a backup. Plus, the Giants don’t use him nearly as much as they should.
That would leave the team with Matt Forte, Orleans Darkwa, and Shane Vereen. Two of the three are very good pass catchers, and Darkwa has shown the ability to be the featured back if anything were to happen to Forte.
There have been plenty of backs that have reached 1,000-plus yards at 30 or older. 47 times in fact, including Adrian Peterson just this season. All 47 times, it’s been done by someone of noteworthy status, exactly what Forte is.
I’m not saying give Forte a 3-4 year deal, but two years in New York could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Eli loves pass catching running-backs and who better than one who’s caught 100 passes in a single season. Forte is an all-around stud in the backfield. It’s the perfect fit and I hope the Giants will look at it and ultimately sign Forte for the next couple of seasons.