For all the obvious reasons the Chicago Bears don’t need to out and spend a ton of money on a potential RB to push Matt Forte for the starting RB spot. But what they do need is someone who can come in and possibly push Forte to better himself, be a healthy option in case Forte gets hurt or wears down from all the offensive touches he took last year as a rookie. Forte was a major part of the Bears’ offensive production and plays. He grinded through a 16 game season for the first time in his career. So having someone who will give him a breather or be a change of pace would be good.
So what type of player should the Bears target? An over 30-year old option who still has some bounce in his legs?
Fred Taylor is the most intriguing RB option in the league right now. He’s not going to be asked to be a starter, would probably be pretty productive as a back up who gets some carries but not a lot. Would be a nice veteran stabilizer for the young core of RBs the Bears currently have and could mentor Matt Forte. Further solidifying the great work habits that Forte already has by helping develop the habits it would take to have an 11-year career.
Taylor’s production dipped but he would be good in a RB committee situation sharing carries with Forte. If the Bears are up big in a game Taylor could help to keep the chains moving and keep the Bears from having to rely on their defense so much. It’s a win win situation for both parties involved.
The problem is though Taylor is quietly becoming the most talking about free agent RB available because so many teams recognize his value for what it is. If the Bears were to make a run at Taylor it would have to be with the idea of keeping the right price in mind for him.
There is mutual interest between Taylor and the New England Patriots and assuming Tom Brady is on track to come back well it may be hard for him to turn down a more successful franchise who may be closer to the Lombardi trophy than the Bears are. It may come down to forking out more money for Taylor to keep him away from the Patriots something the Bears would rather not do.
A surprising second option the Bears might consider that may be in the same mold as Taylor is Deuce McAllister. He’s slightly younger than Taylor and slightly less productive. Injury prone is the only concern you have with McAllister. He has only twice played in all 16 games in his NFL career. Although he only one year removed from his last 1,000 yard rushing season. Typically when he is in the game he is productive, but he’s kinda the Mike Brown of RBs so it may be something the Bears shy away from.
I’ll throw it out there because it’s an ideal fit and his agent has negotiated well with the Bears. Thing is the kid wants to start and wants big money to start and his agent is Drew Rosenhaus. It’s not likely the Bears would go after such a major player in the free agent market but if they shock the world by doing so I guess it’s fair to mention him.
Derrick Ward is probably the featured free agent on the market and rightfully so. He is young and proved his mettle in a contract year with over 1,000 yards rushing last year despite not being the featured back. He would instantly be an upgrade to the team as a whole because a lethal headed two-back combo in a run heavy offense would simply help all other aspects of this team. I’m not against the idea of the Bears attempting to sign him, because they could stand to invest more into their offense anyway, the market is not completely favorable to the other positions the Bears have needs at.
It would be a complete and total shocker for sure to make a run at a RB on this level, but it also wouldn’t be so silly to be completely incomprehensible. The Bears could then draft an OT for their two headed monster RB attack to run behind and getting the aforementioned in a blog receivers would probably be more productive because there wouldn’t be the same amount of pressure on them to perform. It’s silly to think that Ward would even consider the Bears, or that the Bears management would even be half smart to go after a guy like this.
The Bears may need a touch of versatility in their offense at the RB position. Someone who isn’t the same type of runner that Forte is, big strong move the pile is good and great especially given the the amount of agility in the open field Forte displays. But a player like Maurice Morris might be another option behind Forte as well. Before his knee injury Morris was on his way to having a fairly productive 2008. Even with the knee injury slowing him down he still managed to crank out 4.6 a carry over 13 games. It may be a battle to take him out of Seattle, but it’s another option worth exploring.
So there is slim pickings at the RB position but the Bears should at least get involved in looking for a player instead of sitting on the side line waiting for the draft to fix everything.