Matt Forte never has taken a handoff from Ryan Fitzpatrick. But the newest Jets running back would like the chance.
Forte is hopeful the Jets and Fitzpatrick can reunite for the 2016 season, echoing the sentiments of teammates who openly have wished to have their quarterback return.
Fitzpatrick, a free agent, set the Jets’ season record with 31 touchdown passes in 2015 while leading them to a 10-6 record. Twenty-six of those scores went to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and Forte said the chemistry between Fitzpatrick and his receivers should be considered.
“The best way to improve on that is to continue to build on it,” Forte told Tuesday on Tuesday during a call to promote Verizon's NFL Mobile app. “So it’d be the best thing, I think, for us to have him back.”
With Fitzpatrick not around, the Jets may try to find his replacement in the draft. After Jared Goff and Carson Wentz — who are expected to go 1-2 to the Rams and Eagles — the next- best option is Paxton Lynch, who could go anywhere from the end of the top 10 to the Jets’ pick at 20.
Forte said he doesn’t know how his new team will approach the draft, but he did note that the team could take a quarterback early.
“If there’s somebody they like, and depending on the situation — especially with our quarterback situation — they may trade up and try to get a quarterback or something,” he said.
Forte has been busy getting acclimated to life in New York. Forte, who signed a three-year, $12-million deal in free agency after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Bears, expects to join the Jets for workouts on Sunday and is in the midst of househunting.
Forte credits Marshall, his teammate in Chicago from 2012-14, with helping him adjust to life with the Jets.
“Mostly, he just was telling me about the team and how the dynamics of the team were working, having a great defense and the chemistry that he and Fitzpatrick had last year,” Forte said. “And also with the training room, he was saying how good the training room at the Jets is, which is hard to find around the NFL . . . That was attractive to me as well when I was in the free-agent process.”