Although kickoff of the regular season is less than two weeks away, that hasn’t seemed to preclude the Jets from continuing to push their youth movement forward. Reports have surfaced that the team has explored trade options for Matt Forte, in line to be the starting running back Week 1.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported this on Tuesday afternoon:
It seems that a deal may be unlikely to go through soon. Ian Rapoport also confirmed the Jets have gauged interest, but are lacking in optimism at the moment.
Not a lot of optimism a deal can get done. But they have done the legwork just to see. https://t.co/iGQbbt4rxI— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2017
Forte’s place on this roster has seemed a bit questionable since the Jets purged the veterans from last year’s team. He is one of only four players on the roster over thirty years old, and had a down 2016 in which be battled injuries and saw his production decline. He posted career lows in both rushing and receiving yards last season.
He does have a $4 million guaranteed salary, which seems to be what is blocking a potential trade, but the Jets have plenty of cap space to eat that number if they were desperate to get rid of him. Forte could still do some good things for an offense, providing value as a pass catcher and blocker, two things this inexperienced and likely highly conservative offense could use. However, he is blocking the way for the more effective Bilal Powell and rookie Elijah McGuire. Looking for draft pick compensation for Forte isn’t a bad move, but hoping for anything more than a late round pick would probably be too much.
This is an interesting hint on the Jets’ motives going forward, as they do continue to seem committed to continuously getting as young as possible.