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Justin Forsett: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent RB

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist

Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett, center, rushes past Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Sione Fua, back left, and inside linebacker Craig Robertson in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Justin Forsett has reportedly re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Continue for updates.


Forsett Reportedly Re-Signs With Ravens

Thursday, March 12

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Forsett has agreed to a three-year deal with the Ravens. Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun has confirmed that report. 

The Ravens have been one of the favorites to land Forsett since the end of last season. 

On March 9, Wilson reported Forsett "has maintained a strong desire to rejoin the Ravens and the feeling is mutual. However, sources said Forsett is also drawing interest from the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts." 

On March 1, Forsett spoke to Wilson about the state of talks with the Ravens and the potential of a return to Baltimore.

On Feb 24, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome spoke about Forsett on Tuesday and said, "We would like to retain Justin [Forsett]... We will work to try to retain Justin," per the team's official Twitter account.


Forsett: 'I'm Looking for Commitment'

Thursday, Feb. 12

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press provided a statement from Forsett discussing his future and the possibility of playing with the Detroit Lions:

"I'm not opposed to anywhere," Forsett said. "Like I said, I'm looking for commitment and if they can bring it, that could be a possibility."

[...]

He said his first choice is to stay in Baltimore, but after playing for four different teams the last four years, he mostly wants a place to call home.

"Commitment, man," Forsett said. "I've been bouncing around this league for a while and I want to be able to have my family in one spot, so at least for the next couple years I want to be in one spot."

[...]

"I would love to stay in Baltimore," Forsett said. "But it's a business thing, whoever can make (a commitment) happen."

Forsett, 29, rushed for a career-best 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns during his first season in Baltimore. Signed in the offseason due to his familiarity with Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking system, most viewed Forsett as a fungible camp body on a roster already filled with running backs.

One Ray Rice scandal later, Forsett was the Ravens’ leading rusher in Week 1 and embarking on a renaissance season. The Cal product slowly but surely jettisoned Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro from the rotation, emerging as the NFL’s most effective back on a per-carry basis. 

Forsett’s 5.4 yards per carry led the league, and his 17 carries of 20 yards or longer were also an NFL best. DeMarco Murray was the only other back to have at least 10. Football Outsiders' DYAR metric ranked him the 11th-best back in football, while his breakaway run percentage dwarfed all other competitors, per Pro Football Focus.

Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

The result was Forsett's first Pro Bowl berth, an unthinkable result given where his career was when he arrived in Baltimore. A pleasant surprise in Seattle as a former seventh-round pick, Forsett's career with the Seahawks stalled when they acquired Marshawn Lynch and installed him as the workhorse back. After receiving more than 100 carries in 2009 and 2010, Forsett was excised from the rotation and landed in Houston by 2012.

While he showed promise under Kubiak, Forsett was again forced to sit behind a more touted runner and departed again for Jacksonville. The Jaguars had another incumbent, Maurice Jones-Drew, blocking him and he was limited to six carries after a foot injury prematurely ended his season. On the brink of being out of football, Forsett understandably has an interest in sticking with Baltimore. 

"I'm blessed to have the opportunity to show what I can do," Forsett told Wilson. "It's been a long time coming and I just want to build on it. I would love to stay here and be a Raven, but there's a business part of that. I've experienced a lot of the business side of it, but hopefully we can get something done."

Odds are it won't cost Baltimore much to keep him if it so chooses. Forsett, despite his limited carry load, will turn 30 in October, an age that has not treated running backs kindly historically. Even if you consider Forsett an atypical 30-year-old (and he is), teams are going to be hesitant to offer him much in the way of long-term money. Forsett might attract a salary on the higher end of what free-agent running backs are going to be offered, but it'd be a surprise to see any contract stretch longer than two years.

Even if a team added a third year, the contract would probably be structured so it carries minimal guarantees. The Ravens drafted Taliaferro in the fourth round last year and have Fitzgerald Toussaint hanging around if they want to go elsewhere. But both sides should be able to work something out if they want to get it done.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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