Analysts Predict Justin Forsett Outcome

Running back Justin Forsett is still working out by himself at the Ravens' Under Armour Performance Center this offseason. He and his family live around the corner, so why not?

But will the pending unrestricted free agent be around a month from now?

Forsett has said his "heart is in Baltimore," because the Ravens gave him his first chance to break out and prove himself. Head Coach John Harbaugh also said he wants Forsett back.

Two high-profile NFL analysts, ESPN's Chris Mortensen and ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, seem to have differing opinions about whether that will happen.

Mortensen cast doubt on Forsett returning, suggesting he may not have the same results with a new coordinator calling the shots. Forsett came to Baltimore last year with Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak, who had coached the tailback in Houston.

Forsett was a natural fit for the stretch zone run scheme and had his best year with 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns.

"He was a fit with Gary Kubiak's system. Will he be a fit with Marc Trestman?" Mortensen said. "It may be a little bit different."

Mortensen also believes the Ravens could find similar production from another running back. The Ravens running backs had success across the board last year, but nobody has the yards per carry of Forsett. Forsett averaged 5.4 per carry (best among NFL running backs) while Lorenzo Taliaferro averaged 4.3 and Bernard Pierce averaged 3.9.

"The Ravens have a really strong offensive line. Their interior linemen are extremely good," Mortensen said. "I think their running game will be in good hands no matter who's back there. Justin is going to land somewhere. He's not going to be one of those 'feature backs' but he'll be a guy that's very productive."

Florio expressed more urgency for the Ravens to re-sign Forsett, although he called him a "wild card."

"How do you replace that performance?" Florio said. "I'm kind of fascinated with what's going to happen with Justin Forsett. I think the Ravens have to seriously think about finding a way to keep him around."

The question, as it always is with free agents, is whether the money makes sense. How much would Forsett command on the open market?

He'll be 30 years old next season and veteran running backs generally don't get big contracts. Yet, as Florio said, "[Forsett] still has a lot of tread on the tires because he wasn't used much early in his career." Forsett has 582 carries in his seven seasons. Of those, 235 came last year.

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