The Bears have released a statement regarding their decision to not extend RB Matt Forte a contract offer.
“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. “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.”
“Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end,” Forte writes. “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!“
For what it’s worth, there has been some speculation that the Patriots could be an option for him this offseason.
Forte, 30, he has played out his four-year, $30.4 million contract that included $13.8 million guaranteed. He’s now in position to be one of the more notable running backs in this year’s free agent market.
In 2015, Forte has appeared in 13 games and ran for 898 yards on 218 carries (4.1 YPC) to go along with 44 receptions for 389 yards receiving and seven total touchdowns for the Bears. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 19 running back out of 68 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2016 Free Agents list.