Nov 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) runs on to the field prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
That’s just silly. Justin Forsett has more value than Chris Johnson, and more to the point, Forsett has more value to the Baltimore Ravens than any back on the market.
Start with the on-field production.
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Forsett is the ideal Marc Trestman back. A phenomenal contributor in the passing game, both blocking and catching, Forsett is the ideal third down back. As for his contributions running the football, Forsett is a natural fit for the zone blocking scheme Trestman said he would keep using in Baltimore.
Purely from a football perspective, Forsett would be valuable just about anywhere, especially as a third down back. He might not ever get 235 carries again, especially not for a team other than the Ravens, but Forsett can be a valuable contributor anywhere.
How many teams will recognize that remains to be seen. There is a lot working against Forsett in terms of seeking a big deal: his age (he will turn 30 this season), his one-season wonder status and his inability to carry a complete load for an entire season (career-high 235 carries wore him down last year). Accordingly, Forsett will probably not get the big deal many are foreseeing.
Further, the Forsett to Denver connection doesn’t make much sense, regardless of Gary Kubiak‘s move. The Broncos are stacked with young, talented backs. The only reason to add Forsett would be his value in the passing game. Otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense.
So the Ravens are clearly the best choice for Forsett. In Baltimore, Forsett developed a lot of chemistry with the Ravens’ offensive line. That can’t be taken for granted, and it should help Forsett still be an impact player in Baltimore.
But to really get a good idea of Forsett’s value in Baltimore, look off the field. The Ravens were reeling at running back after the Ray Rice scandal. Forsett was a stabilizing presence in the backfield, taking the majority of the carries by merit, rather than reputation. He took that role and ran with it, ripping off one of the best seasons in Ravens’ history, at least in terms of his 5.4 yards per carry. He did all that quietly and with humility.
Forsett was the perfect back to lead the Ravens backfield into a new era. He is the perfect back to help them transition to the future. And he’s the perfect back for Marc Trestman’s offense. In sum, Justin Forsett is the perfect back for the Baltimore Ravens. Count on him being back.