The New York Jets have placed Matt Forte on IR ending his 2017 season. We’ll tell you why he has already played the last snap of his career for the green and white.
Ahead of the New York Jets season finale against the New England Patriots, Gang Green executed a few interesting roster moves. One includes placing veteran running back Matt Forte on injured reserve.
We have activated WR Lucky Whitehead & RB Jahad Thomas from the practice squad and placed RB Matt Forte & RB Akeem Judd on IR.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 30, 2017
Although Forte has battled injuries all season, this could be the final nail in the coffin. In 2017, Forte set some new career records, but none that you’d stick up there with a smiling-face on the refrigerator at mom’s house:
- Career-lows in:
- Yards (381)
- Attempts (103)
- Total touchdowns (three)
- Games played in (ties career low with 12)
This was also the first time in Forte’s career that he’s accumulated less than 1,000 yards from scrimmage (674). To be having an inordinate amount of career-lows at the age of 32 isn’t a promising sign of things to come.
The Jets have other incentives to cut Forte after this season.
Forte is entering the last year of a three-year deal he signed back in 2016 and is owed $3 million. By releasing Forte, the Jets would save $1 million, but realistically, for a team who is set to have $100m in 2018, it’s not about the money.
It’s about the production.
The Jets are in dire need of playmakers on the offensive side of the football and to be frank, Forte just doesn’t have the goods anymore. When you look at the rest of the depth at the position, Bilal Powell is set to be 30 next season and Elijah McGuire isn’t a feature back.
McGuire was certainly a nice find in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the Jets need an infusion of youth and explosiveness. That’s something Forte simply doesn’t have in his body anymore. On top of the lack of physical skills, Forte has been a bit of a problem child.
As one of the lone elder statesmen on the team, he should be setting a good example, not questioning coaching decisions.
“I only had four carries this game, so I don’t really think we ran the ball enough with the weather being the way it was,” Forte said, per the New York Daily News‘ Manish Mehta. “I think that kind of hurt us. Everybody knows that that was the game plan and that was what we wanted to do,” Forte said. “I’m not going to get on the head set and tell somebody how to do their job.”
Forte made these comments after the Jets lost at home to the Atlanta Falcons in a real slop-fest due to the pouring rain. Whether Forte feels he’s right or wrong isn’t the point. Forte as a leader and loyal solider of this team should do whatever his coaches require.
The Jets are establishing a new culture at 1 Jets Drive. The Jets rid themselves of locker room cancers (Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson) and disciplined those who were deserving (Muhammad Wilkerson).
Something that can't be dismissed or understated: When potential FAs ask guys they know on the #Jets about this team in the offseason, the vibe and environment (and, now, stability with HC/GM) will be positive factors that could make this team an attractive landing spot.
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) December 29, 2017
To wrap this in a pretty bow, here are a few options the Jets may consider in free agency in 2018 to potentially replace Forte:
- Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
- Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
- Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
- Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
While some people are opposed to coughing up a ton of money for a position that over the years has become easier and easier to replace with the raving success of mid-round running backs.
So with a slew of draft picks, the Jets could also look to young cheap labor to fill their need. According to scouts that I’ve talked to, the 2018 NFL Draft class is loaded at the position, specifically finding starting talent on day two and three of the draft.