“I wouldn’t trade him for anybody else,” Cutler said of Forte, via the team’s official website. “He’s a three-down back. He does so much protection-wise. He does so much in the passing game. You can line him up in all different scenarios, all different sets. He gets the job done. He’s kind of a security blanket for us.”
Forte is not only a security blanket, he’s the Bears‘ workhorse. Forte has accounted for 72.4 percent of his team’s rushing attempts and 75.4 percent of the Bears rushing yards this season (both highest in NFL). The eight-year pro leads the NFL with 21 carries per game.
Forte turns 30 in December, which is one reason a trade is unlikely, but Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase doesn’t believe the back is beholden to the 30-year cliff like many other tailbacks.
“The age thing for him, I don’t even know if it’s relevant,” Gase said. “He’s playing at an elite level. He was leading the league in rushing there for a minute. We’ll see what happens in the next 10 games, but I’m pretty sure people know we’re going to try to get him the ball.”
While teams like the Cowboys and Giants might have needs at the running back position, given Forte’s age, free agency status and the tight-fisted grip with which teams hang onto draft picks, it’s unlikely he’ll be traded.
Instead the underappreciated back will carry the load for Cutler and a mediocre Bears squad.