The Baltimore Ravens are moving on from running back Justin Forsett for possibly the final time.
Ravens are planning on moving on from RB Justin Forsett. With Kenneth Dixon coming back, they are going young.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) October 4, 2016
The Ravens are one of the deeper offensive teams in the league when it comes to the skill positions, possibly more so than anywhere else at running back. The group is currently now three deep with Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon, Javorius Allen as Forsett is gone.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com noted this recently that Forsett could soon be on his way out of Baltimore thanks to the bevy of young backs that the team is already carrying.
‘Forsett is a luxury the team can't afford to stash on the roster.’ Wesseling wrote in a recent article. ‘West has been the most decisive, explosive runner going back to early August. Javorius Allen has been the most effective receiving back going back to last season. Already a coaching-staff favorite, Dixon might just boast the best mix of running and receiving traits.’
Wesseling was on the money and certainly raised interesting points. West had the team’s best rushing performance against Oakland on Sunday by a long shot while Allen did well with his involvement in the short passing game. It’s worth mentioning that this all took place in a game that Forsett wasn't even active for.
Since getting drafted by the Ravens in April, Dixon has received rave reviews for his running and receiving talent, and as Wesseling wrote, he may turn out to be he best of the bunch by the end of the season.
It is important to note that when Forsett was released before the 2016 regular season, it was made clear that the plan was to bring Forsett back all along. However, Forsett didn't immediately commit to a return to Baltimore, stating that he would've considered offers from other teams. While he was ultimately brought back, it’s interesting that both sides seemed somewhat prepared for a prompt divorce. And now that day is here.
Forsett is a beloved figure in Baltimore for his true underdog tale and his philanthropic efforts throughout the area. He is also looked at as a veteran leader in the locker room and someone that his teammates can look to for inspiration. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was effusive in his praise for the veteran running back when discussing his benching against the Raiders.
‘Justin Forsett is a highly respected, highly valued guy in my eyes," Harbaugh said. "It's a competitive world that we're in. It's a competitive league, it's a competitive sport, and he knows that as well as anybody. It doesn't diminish him in any way. It just enhances him, in terms of how he's handled it. We'll just have to see.”
While Harbaugh doesn't seem committed to a starter at running back going forward one way or the other, it us more clear that the writing was on the wall for Forsett’s release this past Sunday.