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Bears thank Forte for his service, professionalism

Matt Forte, Nick Roach AP

The Bears released a statement Friday officially announcing their intentions not to re-sign veteran running back Matt Forte — and thanking Forte for his service.

“These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in the statement. “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.”

Forte ranks second in Bears history in yards from scrimmage (12,718), rushing yards (8,602), receptions (487), 100-yard rushing games (24) and games with 150 yards or more from scrimmage (25), trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton in all five categories.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Forte turned 30 in December. He’ll be a free agent when the new league year begins March 9.

Earlier Friday, Forte sent out word via social media that he wouldn’t be back with the Bears.

Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end,” he wrote on Instagram. “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.”

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83 Responses to “Bears thank Forte for his service, professionalism”
  1. mack2x says: Feb 12, 2016 11:36 AM

    Putting it even more in the hands of cutler. Brilliant.

  2. metspeed21 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:36 AM

    I love Forte. I hope he catches on somewhere where he’ll be happy.

  3. touchdownelvis says: Feb 12, 2016 11:38 AM

    There’s no shame in being the second-best back in Chicago Bears history.

  4. Florio Believer says: Feb 12, 2016 11:41 AM

    Pace you’re on the clock … hopefully you’re not being too smart for your britches…it wouldn’t have made any sense to leave your options open until later in the Spring?

  5. tajuara says: Feb 12, 2016 11:41 AM

    Please come to Indy Matt

  6. leatherface2012 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:41 AM

    better shape than lacy

  7. najacoo22 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:43 AM

    He’s had a great career and has continued to play well. There should be a lot of interest in the open market, even at 30.

  8. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:46 AM

    Welcome to the Patriots.

    Let’s go win a couple of rings and not play in rigged, boring Super Bowls.

  9. nflpoker says: Feb 12, 2016 11:46 AM

    Good luck Matt. Nothing but the best.

    – Vikings fan

  10. floratiotime says: Feb 12, 2016 11:47 AM

    Maybe JJ Watt can salute him? He loves to play soldier.

  11. sityourselfdown says: Feb 12, 2016 11:48 AM

    Have a nice day to whoever is reading this🙂

  12. Teddy BH20's House of Noodles says: Feb 12, 2016 11:48 AM

    Would not surprise me at all if he ended up in Green Bay. A nice compliment to their running game as a 3rd down back and an option to start if Lacy doesn’t take his off season seriously and lose weight.

    But most RB’s on a contract year have a lot of incentive to be in shape, I would guess Lacy will do that.

  13. tremoluxman says: Feb 12, 2016 11:49 AM

    The NFL is a cold mistress. Forte was a good RB and a good opponent. This from a Vikings fans. Much respect.

  14. floratiotime says: Feb 12, 2016 11:49 AM

    Translation … the Bears wouldn’t give me the money I wanted.

  15. dawiz2008 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:51 AM

    Thats why every player should be about themselves, nfl doesn’t care about you. Make as much money as possible and never take a pay cut. They use you and release you without fulfilling thier contracts they create.

  16. directdriver says: Feb 12, 2016 11:52 AM

    Matt, coach Belichick is on the phone.

  17. icebowler says: Feb 12, 2016 11:52 AM

    I hope someone outbids the Lions for his services. The Packers are sick and tired of playing him twice a year.

  18. jkulha86 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:52 AM

    I see the Patriots moving fast to sign him.

  19. kabasaman says: Feb 12, 2016 11:54 AM

    I’m sure this came down to Money…. It always does.. Forte is for sure one of great Bears who left due to the ultimate evil. I think he will continue to play well wherever he goes. Good luck and good health to you Matt.

  20. uknepatsfan says: Feb 12, 2016 11:58 AM

    Forte would be a good fit on the Patriots if he is prepared to do a cap friendly deal. Would be similar to the Dillon deal, get the last 2 years of tread left on his tyres out of him and get him a ring (hopefully),

    They could draft a guy like Kenyan Drake to develop in the background to be their future back.

  21. securb2013 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:58 AM

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see him land with Adam Gase in Miami. Forte would ad some much needed depth at the position and even more important positive veteran leadership in the locker room. Especially will Miller running out of town for a paycheck.

  22. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:00 PM

    The Packers are losing Casey Heyward. This means they don’t have a budget for many free agents, because Ted Thompson is not really good with budgeting and has had some weak drafts lately.

    It’s a no brainer to go to the Pats. They not only have a dire need for him, they’re SB favorites again for the next 2-3 years.

    Belichick has in-house contract control on superb players (Hightower, Jones, Collins, Butler, etc), which means their cap is in very healthy position.

    This is why Spygate and Deflategate exist.

    Jealousy.

    No one is stopping other teams from using good cap disciplines, drafting well, loading up on picks, paying scouts well, etc, and developing players.

    That’s the real secret, folks. So, when a 30 year old COrey Dillon or Forte become available, or insert-name-here”…That is why NE does what they do and Goodell is trying to use faux witch hunts via ESPN to sell to the masses to dock draft picks.

    Truth.

    Parity.

    It really doesn’t exist.

    Belichick has bucked the wants and needs of Goodell/the owners.

  23. sloppychimps says: Feb 12, 2016 12:00 PM

    As disappointed as I am about this, I understand it’s the harsh reality of the NFL. It’s been a pleasure watching you play Matt!

  24. magnumpimustache says: Feb 12, 2016 12:01 PM

    Patriots bound. He needs a ring

  25. jafo1265 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:02 PM

    This is crazy. He’s been one of their best players. Come to Green Bay and win a Super Bowl.

  26. jbfazz1213 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:05 PM

    Well Done Matt. Should Have Been a Bear For Life. Tuff Business Patriots Seattle Come 2 Mind

  27. floratiotime says: Feb 12, 2016 12:07 PM

    How come every player who leaves his team over money is going to play for the Pats for free?

  28. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:07 PM

    The Bears are pennywise and pound foolish. They cut team leaders and then wonder why their team sucks.

    Bears fans … you have my sympathy. Forte is a great RB and deserved to be treated better by your team’s front office.

    It would not shock me if he goes to Detroit. With Megatron retiring, the Lions have cap space. Forte is the power rusher the Lions have always wanted. Abdullah and Riddick are more like receivers than RBs. Joique Bell isn’t healthy anymore and was never anywhere near the RB that Forte is.

  29. reverend5150 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:08 PM

    Sometimes free agency just plain sucks

  30. smurftacular says: Feb 12, 2016 12:08 PM

    Thank you Matt for all you have done in Chicago. A class act on and off the field and I wish you the best in the future.

    Cheers,

    Bears Fan

  31. jm91rs says: Feb 12, 2016 12:09 PM

    It’s kinda crazy that he’s only a 2 time pro bowler. Seems like he’s had a better career than that but maybe the injuries derailed him before voting every year?

  32. thegr8rayfinkle says: Feb 12, 2016 12:10 PM

    All the respect in the world for Matt Forte. He played his heart out every snap.

    -Not a Bears fan.

  33. Ugadogs21 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:12 PM

    Wow! He’s probably the #1 FA available.

  34. ariani1985 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:12 PM

    Green Bay Packers on line 1! Turd Thompson has grouped together the worst RBs in NFL history.

  35. 87hollywoodhorn says: Feb 12, 2016 12:15 PM

    tulane green wave, they gave the lsu tigers a really good game in 2007.

    that LSU team won the championship but tulane fought them as hard as anybody! wow!

  36. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:17 PM

    Goodell made up Spygate because BB traded for Moss and Welker for peanuts.

    Discuss:

  37. daaabears says: Feb 12, 2016 12:18 PM

    The worst part of sports.

  38. jojopuppyfish says: Feb 12, 2016 12:24 PM

    As a long time Bears fan I wish him luck. He’s good to very good but he’s not elite.
    He was very poor in the red zone and short yardage situations and it hurt the team.

    When he got hurt for 2 games last year, the combo of Langford and Carey was far superior than having Forte on all 3 downs.
    I am looking forward to the future for the bears

  39. uglydingo says: Feb 12, 2016 12:25 PM

    Not a Bears fan but Matt Forte has been my Fantasy RB for past 3 years and I love him. Good luck Matt on landing some place where you’re more appreciated. Matt Forte is the man!

  40. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:27 PM

    Did someone just ask above why an abused quality player in a bad organization would want to play for the Pats, a team in the conf title game every year?

    That’s a pretty odd question.

  41. mikeremmersisvonsturnstile says: Feb 12, 2016 12:28 PM

    tylawspick6 says:
    Feb 12, 2016 11:46 AM
    Welcome to the Patriots.

    Let’s go win a couple of rings and not play in rigged, boring Super Bowls.
    ———————–
    Yes…. Rigged Super Bowls are bad…. Just like videotaping your opponents walk through before a super bowl….

    I’ll bet if the Pats were in the Super Bowl and it was rigged, you’d be ok with that? Yes or no?

  42. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:33 PM

    I am laughing at Bears fans above acting like Langford and some guy named “Carey” somehow

    NEWSFLASH: The McCaskeys are cheap morons who hire moron GMs, which is why FOrte was ABUSED on your team for YEARS.

    Your team never had a full balance on offense, so they just used FOrte, which is why why he only went to 2 Pro Bowls.

    Put him on the Pats, a team understanding how to build a real, balanced team, not drafing WRs in Rd 1 with a crappy QB like Cutler, with no OL, and you’ll see a much different Forte with the Pats.

    If you split back Forte with Dion Lewis or James White, whoa……It’s lights out for defenses.

    Nighty night.

    If Bill Belichick can’t get him into Foxborough, there is a problem.

    A match made in heaven.

    “Langford and Carey”….LMAO

  43. purpleguy says: Feb 12, 2016 12:37 PM

    Not only a great and versatile player, but a very good person.

    I see Pats fans have started their annual speculation that every quality yet aging FA should go to their team. I doubt TT would pull the trigger, but as some have speculated above, he would be an ideal fit in Green Bay.

  44. pete2112 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:38 PM

    Matt Forte – Class act.
    Best of luck Matt! You’ll be missed.

  45. jojopuppyfish says: Feb 12, 2016 12:46 PM

    @tylawspick6
    Obviously you didn’t get tired of Forte being stuffed at the 1 yard line. Or 3rd and short.
    And in the 4th quarter, don’t even bother giving Forte the ball….he wont run out the clock.
    Don’t get me wrong, he’s good, but he has holes in his game. Carey was awesome at the goal line and between the tackles this year. He just needs more playing time.
    Langford also will do very well now that he doesn’t have to share time with Forte.
    Signed-
    Die Hard Bears Fan

  46. aragorn1391 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:47 PM

    As a Vikes fan, I love Matt Forte and think that, despite Adrian being a better runner, Forte fits what we are trying to do better. It will never happen but I wouldn’t complain at all if we cut AP in favor of signing Forte.

  47. embolomere says: Feb 12, 2016 12:47 PM

    @mikeremmersisvonsturnstile:
    So who videotaped an opponents walk-through? Not the Pats. All they did was tape game signals from the sideline when they should have done it from 20 feet back in the stands where it was allowed. But you knew that.

    Rigged games suck, no matter who gets favored. Do you really need that spelled out for you?

  48. jimnsota says: Feb 12, 2016 12:51 PM

    I’ll take Matt Forte over AP, he’s a better overall back and he’s not a dumb ass. Cut AP sign Forte for 3 yrs and half the money that AP is due.

  49. joefelicelli says: Feb 12, 2016 12:54 PM

    ivanpavlov0000 says:
    Feb 12, 2016 12:07 PM

    The Bears are pennywise and pound foolish. They cut team leaders and then wonder why their team sucks.

    Bears fans … you have my sympathy. Forte is a great RB and deserved to be treated better by your team’s front office.

    It would not shock me if he goes to Detroit. With Megatron retiring, the Lions have cap space. Forte is the power rusher the Lions have always wanted. Abdullah and Riddick are more like receivers than RBs. Joique Bell isn’t healthy anymore and was never anywhere near the RB that Forte is.
    ———————————————————
    Forte was well-respected in the locker room, but that doesn’t make him a leader. He sat back and watched the team implode in 2014, and did/said nothing. That’s not what a leader does. Forte was the kind of player who came in, did his job, and kept quiet. Great example, but not a team leader.

    And you must not have watched many Bear games if you think Forte is a power rusher. He is an upright runner that doesn’t get the explosion out of his lower body to move the pile.

    Forte was a very good player, arguably the best offensive player of the last 20 years on the team, but he was slowing down, and was not going to be that guy in 2016, or beyond. Pace is making the right call on this one.

  50. ionlyrootforthewinningteam says: Feb 12, 2016 12:56 PM

    Vikings fans being negative and talking trash, Green Bay fans showing class…..some things never change.

    Thanks for the memories Matty! You will always be a Bear!!

  51. billmiller1991 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:01 PM

    I don’t feel great about this news. I’m not nearly is keen on Langford as others seem to be… I actually thought Carey looked like a tougher runner. But Forte is still better than either of them. In any case, thanks Matt for 8 years of professionalism and consistent productivity.

  52. vikingdoode says: Feb 12, 2016 1:05 PM

    Patriots or GreenBay but Kansas City should sign him he would be a great fit

  53. jerryyouradisgrace says: Feb 12, 2016 1:05 PM

    Please Jerry…do something right for a change….We are not even GM’s on this site but we all know this guy will kill it behind that OL…

    With that being said Matt might be to classy to play for the meddler

  54. joker65 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:11 PM

    Yes…. Rigged Super Bowls are bad…. Just like videotaping your opponents walk through before a super bowl….

    ____

    Yes, that would be bad. Except it never happened. Remember when the newspaper that ran the story recanted it?

    ” In today’s editions, the Herald acknowledged its error and issued a front-page apology for running the story without adequate verification.”

    Huh, what do you know???

  55. rainsarge says: Feb 12, 2016 1:15 PM

    Why not send Cutler back to Denver keep Forte and draft a rookie?

  56. markpackman says: Feb 12, 2016 1:16 PM

    Forte is a great back, and a classy guy. He will be a great asset on the field, and in the locker room for whatever team signs him.

  57. Frazier28/7 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:17 PM

    best of luck Forte. favorite Bear since sweetness.

  58. azbearsfan35 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:20 PM

    Good Luck Matt..

    One of the best Bears to play in the Modern Era and probably one of the most respectful players still in the NFL.

    Wish him nothing but the best

  59. skinsdiehard says: Feb 12, 2016 1:20 PM

    Letting Forte walk at only 30 years old is foolish. He is still able to play effectively and share the backfield with another RB. This guy can play till he’s 35 probably. Foolish.

    All RB’s are not done after 30. It depends on the extent of injuries. Forte was productive in 2015. Adrian Peterson just completed his 30-year old season in 2015 and was very productive. Stupid by GM.

  60. peopletrains says: Feb 12, 2016 1:21 PM

    Someone calling him the second best back in Chicago history is forgetting about Gale Sayers.

  61. keepingitlogical says: Feb 12, 2016 1:24 PM

    tylawspick6 says:
    Feb 12, 2016 12:00 PM

    The Packers are losing Casey Heyward. This means they don’t have a budget for many free agents, because Ted Thompson is not really good with budgeting and has had some weak drafts lately.

    _____________________

    You shouldn’t speak of things you cleary don’t understand. They aren’t “losing” Casey Heyward. They reloaded, and hit, on two rookie CB’s, just last year. They don’t need him. As far as fiscal responsibility, TT is toward the top of the list. If anything, he budgets TOO well. By the way, they are sitting on $20mil in cap space. Hope you learned something today……

  62. mediasloppy says: Feb 12, 2016 1:25 PM

    Seems crazy to cut a guy who is not only their best RB, also WR. Best of luck to him.

  63. schmitty2 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:42 PM

    Some of the comments on here are beyond moronic but I think everyone can agree that Forte will not be unemployed for very long.

  64. Grulks says: Feb 12, 2016 1:45 PM

    I’m really interested to see where he lands. Possible destinations, no order:
    Cowboys – they don’t have a great running game, and any way you look at it Forte is an upgrade. Even though Forte is 30, JJ has been known to pay free agent guys $$$. Dallas has one of the best OLines, so the money and blocking may be something Forte likes.

    Patriots: successful franchise that likes to utilize versatile backs. No current workhorse back to displace. The allure of perennial contenders has to be an attractive option for Forte.

    Packers: Lacy is in and out of the doghouse. I could see GB management making a push here for a disciplined RB. If Forte has no qualms
    about “switching sides” up north, this is a real possibility.

    Seahawks: The uncertainty of Lynch makes this an intriguing possibility. Hawks have an established ground game, and a pretty good OLine.

  65. gridassassin says: Feb 12, 2016 1:48 PM

    A lot of ignorance on this comments thread – the Bears didn’t “USE” Forte and release him. He was one of the highest paid RBs the past three years and his contract expired.

    Kudos to the classy Vikings fans for the kind words.

    On the surface, the Bears and Forte handled this with class and dignity. Let’s see the comments from Forte moving forward though – he has a tendency to say ill-advised things.

    Best of luck to #22 moving forward – one of the classiest and hardest working Bears on and off the field – statistically the 2nd best Bear RB in their history. The business of the NFL is not kind to RBs older than 30, or players that won’t take a steep pay cut as they age and their skills diminish.

    #MuchRespectFor#22

  66. RavenzGunnerz says: Feb 12, 2016 1:49 PM

    Forte with the Ravens would be a match made in heaven. Joe Flacco checkdowns, and veterans around him. Together I can see a deep playoffs run.

  67. nenlain says: Feb 12, 2016 1:56 PM

    Classy.

  68. originate421 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:58 PM

    I thought I heard that the Jets were gonna move on from Ivory… could Marshall and Forte reunite in NY?

    How about the other NY team? The Giants shure could use a dependable RB.

  69. wiscobear says: Feb 12, 2016 1:59 PM

    Thanks for being a great player and leader, Matt! I’ll root for whichever team signs you as long as you stay away out of the NFC North! Which I’m sure you’ll do if you want a chance for a ring.

  70. skawh says: Feb 12, 2016 2:01 PM

    All these Pat’s homers forgetting NE is CHEAP! The man is leaving the Bears for a pay increase, not o take a pay cut as NE feels their players should. Get a grip NE. We know Brady got knocked senseless in the AFC championship game, but fans forget their owner doesn’t pay

  71. bears5683 says: Feb 12, 2016 2:10 PM

    Wherever he goes, I hope he goes to a real contender as opposed to the team that offers the best contract.

  72. vikingforlife says: Feb 12, 2016 2:26 PM

    Yeah, they thank him as they are kicking him to the curb. Typical Bears. I’m so tired of all teams/players and their lack of loyalty (NOT you Matt-YOU are a class act through and through! I wish you only the best and truly hope you end up with a team that appreciates you!). I don’t want to hear the same old song, “it’s a business”… I know that. But by the time players get to this point, it’s give me a break about $$$, you know?? We all know he wanted to stay a Bear-THEY should have made that happen for him.
    Good luck to you, Matt.

  73. youknowiknowitall says: Feb 12, 2016 2:28 PM

    skawh says:
    Feb 12, 2016 2:01 PM
    All these Pat’s homers forgetting NE is CHEAP! The man is leaving the Bears for a pay increase, not o take a pay cut as NE feels their players should. Get a grip NE. We know Brady got knocked senseless in the AFC championship game, but fans forget their owner doesn’t pay.
    —————
    Not disagreeing about the likelihood that NE wont pay top dollar for Forte, but to say that “NE is cheap” and the “owner doesn’t pay” is just more moronic nonsense from you. You do know there’s a salary cap, right? And that NE, like every other team, spends to it accordingly?

  74. ee00ee says: Feb 12, 2016 2:42 PM

    At least he managed to get 1 good contract out of the Bears. I thought they were going to lead him on forever. Wherever he goes I hope he stays healthy and has a great twilight to his career.

  75. bassplucker says: Feb 12, 2016 3:36 PM

    Gotta think this decision was sealed back in Week 10 when Jeremy Langford took a short pass for an 83-yd TD. As good as Forte is/was, if that pass goes to him it’s not a score.

  76. Shinnbone says: Feb 12, 2016 4:06 PM

    I gots a buddy dat knows Matt and he’s already said he’s signing wif GB his best bud is Julius Peppers. Make book on dat youknow I’m sayin….boom goes da dynamite!

  77. vegasbearfan says: Feb 12, 2016 4:08 PM

    Sorry that you didn’t get your wish to stay with Bears Matt. You are a very classy guy- don’t go play with the classless bunch in NE- you have too much integrity to play with those dirtbags.

  78. vegasbearfan says: Feb 12, 2016 4:12 PM

    Pace- I KNOW that you made a BAD DECISION trading Brandon Marshall last year. I hope that this idea of yours not to resign Forte is not another bad decision by you- jury is out!!!

  79. fanofpft says: Feb 12, 2016 6:38 PM

    If Gase wants him he should be able to persuade Ross to spend big again.

  80. bsizemore68 says: Feb 12, 2016 8:12 PM

    Check out the local weather, then New England, and of course Green Bay, they all have a new play caller for you, then check the temp. in Miami, and who will call the plays. Bill. Enough said, go south young man.

  81. stevietimmy says: Feb 13, 2016 7:49 AM

    touchdownelvis
    Feb 12, 2016, 11:38 AM EST
    There’s no shame in being the second-best back in Chicago Bears history.

    ————————-

    Peopletrains hit it on the head, saying he was the second-best is just plain wrong.

  82. iowahbr says: Feb 16, 2016 8:32 AM

    Didn’t even get that 6th round Marshall deal for him. the Bears are headed for many more years of mediocrity and the way the NFL is structured it doesn’t hurt the owners one bit in their pocket.

    Bear fans are crazy for filling Soldier’s Field each game.

  83. bebopa says: Feb 16, 2016 7:00 PM

    i wonder what number he will wear with the Pats.

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