The Baltimore Ravens are parting ways with Justin Forsett.
The veteran running back has already been cut once this year, but that was a preseason gamble to make sure Baltimore kept all of the players they wanted heading into the regular season. This time, the Ravens are really moving on from Forsett, who now becomes the best free agent running back on the market.
Forsett, who’s 30-years-old, made a big impact in his first season with the Ravens in 2014 when he rushed for a career-high 1,266 yards while averaging 5.4 yards per carry and eight touchdowns.
However, a broken arm cost him six games last season, and the Ravens decided they had younger options this season in Terrance West, Javorius Allen, Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro.
In three games this season, Forsett has 31 carries for 98 yards, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. He also has 11 receptions for 36 yards and though he is clearly wearing down, he still has enough left in the tank to be a good third or fourth back on a roster.
Could the Cincinnati Bengals be that team? As of now, Cincinnati has just three backs on the 53-man roster, and Rex Burkhead suffered a hamstring early in the Week 4 win over Miami that led to him missing most of the game. That means Cincinnati could be down to two backs this week when they face the Dallas Cowboys. Though, it’s unclear if Burkhead will be ready for Week 5.
While Forsett may not offer much as workhorse back anymore, he's still effective enough to make an impact as a third back, and it's not like he can't play special teams either. People forget that Forsett was a good special teams player early in his NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. Those were teams where Forsett was the second and third-string back, a role that usually demands a player make an impact on special teams.
So if Forsett is willing to, he can make an impact there with his next team. If he wants to hold out and sign with a team who will make him a first or second-string back, that may not come into play. He's not getting that backup spot in Cincinnati with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill getting most of the touches.
But if Forsett is willing to be the third/fourth back and play on special teams, he'd be a nice addition to the Bengals, not to mention a perfect replacement for Cedric Peerman, who remains on I.R. and hasn't even done work on the rehab field this season. It's looking like William Jackson III is more likely to get that I.R. designation to return, though that could change, so the Bengals may opt to add a fourth running back at some point.
You have to think Forsett wants to play for a contender who will offer him as many touches as possible, but he’s simply not going to get both. He can sign with a team like Miami, Chicago, or Tampa Bay and be their backup, but none of them are going anywhere this season.
That means if Forsett wants to play for a team that’s regularly been to the playoffs and could use another back, Cincinnati may be one of his better options.
So we'll ask you, do you think the Bengals should sign Justin Forsett?