Justin Forsett's years with the Ravens were perhaps the best of his entire career. In Baltimore, he was able to resurrect his playing career by coming out of nowhere to become the team's lead back and post his first campaign with over 1,000 rushing yards on the way to a Pro Bowl appearance in 2014. It was certainly a mutually beneficial deal for both sides, as the Ravens got a productive veteran back who seemed thrilled to be a part of the team. Despite clocking in past the ever so scrutinized age of 30, it appeared as if Forsett was set to rebound from his season-ending arm injury last year and lead the Baltimore ground collective.
Until yesterday, that is.
The relationship between Forsett and the Ravens seemed to end as suddenly as it has started. Forsett was one of the casualties in the final slate of cuts leading up to the regular season. His release came as a surprise to many, as no one really expected the Ravens rushing attack to be composed of a rookie, an ex-Brown who couldn't make the cut in Cleveland, or a second-year player who is really best suited as a third-down back. Now granted, each of the team's current backs on the roster (Dixon, West, Allen) have each shown a flash of something good on the field, but it's a very unorthodox move to drop the most tenured and accomplished rusher on the roster.
The motive to dump Forsett remains unclear at this point. But one plausible explanation is that it's a matter of dollars and cents. By releasing Forsett, the Ravens avoid paying out $3 million for his salary this year. If the Ravens did indeed cut ties with the veteran back for monetary reasons, it wouldn't be out of character for the team. Fans will recall the release of defensive end Chris Canty last offseason and his subsequent re-signing just a couple of weeks later. The release freed up $2.66 million in cap space at the time.
Whether it was for cap reasons (which seems to be the most logical explanation right now), or not, multiple sources are expecting that Forsett will likely don the purple and black once again.
Pro Football Focus is saying that "Forsett's return is likely". Meanwhile, Clifton Brown of CSN also reports more of the same.
The situation in the backfield for Week 1 still remains murky at best, but perhaps it's not crazy to think that Forsett will be back to lead the ground attack for the Ravens.