I kind of secretly hope they'll make me eat my words, because I think Matt Forte is a fantastic player. But reality is unlikely to be kind to hopeful Falcons fans.
Why not? After all, Forte is on the block, publicly dissatisfied with his football team and looking to get out. The Bears would like to avoid any headaches caused by holdouts and have Michael Bush and young Kahlil Bell on hand to mitigate the impact somewhat. The Falcons could use a young, dynamic runner with pass-catching ability to take over down the road, and surely the Bears would be willing to take on Michael Turner for one year to round out that rotation.
There's a handful of reasons why this just won't work, though. Here they are, in no particular order:
- The Falcons would have to give up a high-round draft pick with Turner to get Forte. You're in denial if you think the Falcons would be the ones getting the pick by sending a one-dimensional albeit extremely effective power runner who's 30 years old to the Bears in exchange for a young pass-catcher with a lot fewer miles on his legs. I doubt the team wants to burn a pick in a year where they don't have many.
- I'm not even certain the Bears really would want Turner. Michael Bush is less effective as a runner but is younger and, again, has much less tread on the tires. They could roll with Bush as the bell cow, use Bell as a pass catcher and five carry a game guy and sign a street free agent to round out the depth chart. Turner would add some scratch to the payroll, too.
- Do the Falcons need Forte? I know that's a dumb question on one level, because Forte's an amazing player. But he's also going to command a ton of money in his next contract. The Falcons can't necessarily get his production out of Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, but they can probably get enough to go with what should be a dynamic passing game.
If the price is Turner and a second round pick—and I'm not positive that would do the trick, mind you—it's probably a lot for a team that was already moving away from the run a little last season. Forte would be an upgrade on what the Falcons have, but I'm not convinced he'd radically change the team's fortunes in a way that would make a blockbuster trade and a fat contract worth it.
So no, I don't think the Falcons will trade for Forte, and I don't really think they ought to. There are bigger needs to be filled, no matter how good Forte is.