Matt Forte Trade Rumors: Jets Have 'Gauged Market' for RB

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 26:  Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets carries the ball in the first quarter against the New York Giants during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Jets have reportedly "gauged" what they could receive in a trade for running back Matt Forte before the 2017 season gets underway next month.

On Tuesday, Tom Pelissero‏ of the NFL Network reported the Jets have looked into moving Forte, but noted it could be "very tough" to find a suitor given his $4 million base salary.

The fact the rumor mill around Forte has started to swirl doesn't come as a surprise. The Jets are expected to rank among the league's worst teams this season—as they focus on a long-term rebuild—which doesn't lend itself to a 31-year-old running back's presence.

That said, Andy Vasquez of The Record passed along comments from the veteran rusher in June about anybody who said the team was planning to tank to land a high draft pick.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

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Forte carries a $5 million cap hit for this season and a $4 million figure for 2018, per Spotrac.

That's a high price for a player who averaged 3.7 yards per carry last season, a troublesome sign at a position where it's hard to remain productive after age 30. His days as a productive high-volume asset like he was across eight seasons with the Chicago Bears are likely a thing of the past.

The Jets' cause isn't helped by the fact there aren't many teams desperately seeking running back help. They may be better off waiting until closer to the trade deadline to see if a contender suffers a key injury at the position.

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