The New England Patriots fell just short in the AFC Championship game against the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos but still have arguably one of the best rosters returning next season. The Patriots dealt with some major injuries this past season, especially at the running back position, and could look to explore the possibility of signing Bears running back Matt Forte, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Forte is expected to hit the free agent market this offseason, and while he just turned 30 years old in December, he has continued to prove that he is one best dual-threat running backs in the league. Forte missed three games for the Bears this season but still managed to rush for 898 yards and catch 44 passes for 389 yards. The eight-year veteran running back scored seven total touchdowns during the 2015 season and could be a strong fit in New England.
Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, and it's unknown if New England's front office will want to bring him back. New England signed running back Dion Lewis to a two-year contract through the 2017 season prior to his season-ending ACL tear, and he will likely be a complimentary back in New England's offense next season.
Lewis proved to be a viable receiving back with 36 receptions for 288 yards and two touchdowns in seven games, and New England could look to combine him with a veteran presence like Forte next season.
It's unclear how interested the Patriots are in Forte, but football fans have seen head coach Bill Belichick take veteran talents and lead them to Super Bowls in the past. The Patriots have made the playoffs seven straight seasons and are consistently Super Bowl contenders with Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
The continued success in New England is something that appeals to Forte, as he has never reached a Super Bowl in his career. "It's not even about the money," said Forte, via NFL Network. "I want to be in the Super Bowls."
Forte would likely fit well in New England's offensive system and would be a dangerous passing threat out of the backfield for Brady. The Bears running back is considered one of the top free agent running backs on the market this offseason, and it will be interesting to see if New England makes a strong push to acquire him.