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If Gary Kubiak leaves, Ravens should be cautious about Justin Forsett returning

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Was Justin Forsett more of a product of Gary Kubiak's system?

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

If there's a running back on the Ravens roster not worthy of returning next season, it's Bernard Pierce. However, due to the investment the Ravens made in him and the fact that he'll only account for $798,986 against the cap in 2015, he'll at least be back through training camp.

What I'm scared of, is that if Gary Kubiak doesn't return to the Ravens as offensive coordinator, Forsett could be Bernard Pierce 2.0 and become a useless member of the Ravens backfield. To me, Forsett is more of a byproduct of the system he was placed in, mixed with the desire to continue his NFL career. The Ravens found lightning in a bottle when they signed Forsett.

Likely brought in to just teach Kubiak's system and be a body in the backfield until Ray Rice returned from his two-game suspension, Forsett put his Size 8 foot into our mouths and showed us otherwise. Now a top 5 rusher and first-time Pro Bowl player, Forsett is about to hit the open market. Forsett can't expect anything more than a two-year deal from most teams anyways. He'll be 30 on October 14th, and the NFL has shown that running backs don't often peak in their 30's.

If a team is going to pay Forsett, it'll mostly be because of what they saw in 2014 and will gamble on getting 80% of that player in 2015, with 2016 likely being a waste. I'm not hating on Forsett, this is just what the NFL is/does to 30-year-old running backs.

If Kubiak declines to interview with the Denver Broncos, whom made a request to the Ravens earlier today to do so for their head coaching vacancy, I believe the Ravens should make a hard run at Forsett and slightly overpay, especially because they benefitted from him only accounting for $730,000 against the cap in 2014.

Forsett was definitely a bargain! Without Kubiak, Forsett has more of a chance to return to the player he once was, and not benefit from Kubiak's system. If you look at Forsett's numbers in previous seasons, he even makes Bernard Pierce look more promising just because of age alone.

Given that the Ravens are already eating $9.5 million in dead money from Rice's termination, they need to value every dollar they spend in the next few seasons. With Forsett, they may slightly offer more than other teams, but there won't be much out there and if it's with Kubiak, you know it's a good investment. Without Kubiak, the backfield could be even more of a dead money pit.