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.”