The Chicago Bears will not bring back running back Matt Forte, turning the job over to second-year back Jeremy Langford.
It’s official. The Matt Forte era in Chicago is over.
The 30-year-old running back announced via Instagram on Friday that he was informed the Chicago Bears would not re-sign him this offseason. This means Forte will be a free agent and can sign with any team.
Forte made the Instagram announcement Friday morning, thanking the Bears organization for eight great seasons in Chicago. The Bears selected Forte in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end. I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency. I will remain forever grateful for my time spent in Chicago and being able to play for an organization with such a rich history. My only regret is not being able to win a Lombardi trophy for the best fans in all of sports. I'm excited about the next chapter of my NFL career. But, Chicago will always be home. God Bless and Bear Down!
In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte rushed for 8602 yards and 45 touchdowns. He also caught 487 passes for 4116 yards and 19 touchdowns. During his time with the Bears, Forte was the ultimate versatile back giving the team a viable option out of the backfield.
The Bears organization thanked Forte, shortly after he announced the decision:
“We recently met with Matt to inform him we will not extend a contract offer for the 2016 season,” Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said via press release. “These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community. We have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Matt is one of the all-time great Bears and did an excellent job for us on and off the field last season. He was a tremendous teammate. We thank him for his professionalism and wish him the very best as he continues his career.”
The Pace method of operation should be mentioned in the Forte decision: Upfront, honest, man-to-man. No leaks. Forte announced it first.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) February 12, 2016
The Bears will now seemingly had over the starting job to second-year back Jeremy Langford who did enough to impress coaches to make the decision. Free agency begins in March.