All week we have been discussing the running back position for the Bears. We have recognized a need for a viable backup but that doesn’t mean the team should splurge on a top free agent.
Yes, Matt Forte is entering his seventh season in the league. That kind of mileage on a back could be a cause for concern but not for Forte. He’s very durable, protects his body and doesn’t have a style that will wear him down quickly. Forte is very much the anti-Steven Jackson.
There are some intriguing running backs in free agency. Rashard Mendenhall, James Starks, Rashad Jennings, Ben Tate and Darren McFadden are just some of the established backs available. Starks and Jennings would be tempting but at what cost would they come in at?
The Bears can not make another mistake like Michael Bush. He was a trendy name just a few years ago and got a four-year, $14 million deal with $7 million guaranteed. Bush is likely to be released after having a terrible year and walking around with a $3.85 million salary cap number.
It’s just not worth having so much money locked in to the running back position. There are younger options available in the draft. We told you yesterday Arizona State’s Marion Grice would be a good fit. He’s a great receiver out the backfield who could learn a lot about the nuances of being an NFL back from a guy like Forte. Together the two would be a great combination.
The Bears need the money to go after holes on the defense. There are also depth needs on offense the Bears need to fill. Today we looked at the lack of depth at tight end.
Running back has arguably the most turnover out of any position in the league. The Bears have one of the best in Forte and should look in another direction for help behind him. Look at the late rounds in the draft and don’t fall in love for a veteran who’s stock is falling.