The Chicago Bears will not re-sign running back Matt Forte once he becomes an unrestricted free agent next mont, GM Ryan Pace said in a released statement.
“We recently met with Matt to inform him we will not extend a contract offer for the 2016 season,” Pace said. “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.”
A former 2008 second-round pick out of Tulane, Forte leads all running backs with 12,718 yards from scrimmage since then and is fourth with 8,602 rush yards. His 487 receptions for 4,116 yards lead all running backs. Forte has also rushed for 45 touchdowns and caught 19 touchdown passes in his career.
Just where Forte ends up next and in what role, however, is anybody’s guess. He just turned 30 and though he is a two-time Pro Bowler, he isn’t getting any younger and took some hard hits playing behind a shaky Bears offensive line the past few years.
Either way, no matter where Forte ends up, one thing is certain. It’s the end of an era in the Windy City and the fans will certainly miss Forte’s presence on the field.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports