Oakland Raiders Rumors: Matt Forte Option After Chicago Bears Return Denied? Arian Foster Option with Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott in Draft

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Feb 12, 2016 03:29 PM EST
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Matt Forte
Former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte rushes for yards during a home game in 2015."

Matt Forte's time with the Chicago Bears is officially coming to a close. While it was not a surprise, Forte posted a message on his Instagram account saying that he was informed by general manager Ryan Pace that he would not be re-signed in free agency. Forte played this year on an expiring contract and while he expressed desire to return next year, the Bears do not have the same feeling. Forte still intends to play football in 2016, so could he be the best fit for the Oakland Raiders?

Forte has made one thing clear, he intends to play in 2016 and he wants to win a Super Bowl. While appearing on NFL Network's Super Bowl Live, the running back said it is not about the money, it is about being able to win a championship. That will no longer take place with the Bears, but could the Raiders win him over with a long-term outlook?

According to Bleacher Report, the Raiders would be wise to acquire a veteran running back to pair with Latavius Murray who thrived in the starting role this year. The team was originally linked to Marshawn Lynch, but the Seattle Seahawks veteran announced his retirement earlier this week. Arian Foster has also been listed as a potential target, but considering his health at the moment, Forte is the best fit for the job. The Raiders have the cap space to win him over in terms of his contract while being able to show him that the team is not far off from being a contender.

Forte has the resume to demand a contract few teams will be willing to meet. At 30-years-old, Forte has only missed a handful of games in his career. Despite missing time for a knee issue in 2015, Forte still managed to put up 898 yards while putting up another 389 receiving yards. He can command a multi-year deal that the Raiders can take on.

The issue for Oakland is the other teams preparing to chase Forte. According to NFL.com's Conor Orr, the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks could all lineup to get the running back leaving Oakland on the outside looking in. If Forte is not available, the Raiders still have options. They can look elsewhere in free agency like Bilal Powell, Ronnie Hillman or James Starks who are excellent complimentary backs or they can turn to the NFL Draft.

The Raiders could go with youth in the backfield. Murray has enough years under his belt that adding a rookie into the mix would not be the worst idea. If the Raiders wanted to go big, they could chase Derrick Henry or Ezekiel Elliott, but a more realistic option would likely be Kenyan Drake or Kenneth Dixon in a later round. 

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