Matt Forte makes it official: He’s out in Chicago

AP

We can file this one as one of the early offseason #asexpected notes, but it’s now official: Matt Forte won’t be returning to the Bears.

The veteran running back just sent out word via social media that he wouldn’t be back, as the team won’t pursue extending the free agent.

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.

“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!”

While Forte has hit the magic number for running backs (he turned 30 in December), he’s remained productive, and his blend of running and receiving ability ought to make him an attractive target in free agency.

53 responses to “Matt Forte makes it official: He’s out in Chicago

  1. Tom Brady would love this guy. I mean, heck, the Pats could use a running back who isn’t an instant tip-off to the opposing D that they only have to worry about the run (Blount, SJax), or that they only have to worry about the pass (White, Lewis to some extent).

  2. As much as I absolutely hate saying this…he is going to New England.

    There isn’t a more perfect fit for his skill set than in that offense.

    Lets hope another team can throw too much money at him to prevent that from happening!!

  3. Nothing but mad respect for this guy. He’s earned the right to be called the best RB in Bears’ history after Sweetness. I’ll miss watching him in navy and orange and I’ll continue to root for him…

    …Unless he goes to Green Bay

  4. I’m not a Bears fan and I believe in the thought of letting players go a year too early rather than a year too late, but it seems like the Bears have been really bad at this, ie many of those players were really productive elsewhere (or their linebacking play really sucked after letting Urlacher go)

  5. Thanks Matt for helping me get these FFL championships over the years.
    Best part is he can choose were he wants to go and im sure out of 32 teams, 25 can use him now starting if not more.

  6. .
    It’s been a while since an over 30 RB has generated this much interest. Let’s not forget that he’s a life long Louisianan and may be interested in finishing up in New Orleans.

    However, New England may be the best match due to their heavier reliance on the short passing game. Forte could reduce the wear and tear on his body and extend his career by catching more and running less.
    .

  7. Not so fast about Forte going to the Patriots… here is why: Lamar Miller! Everyone know the Dolphins are the Minor Leagues Training Grounds for all future stars in the league. My guess is all these FA RB’s will actually reduce the price war. Miller, Forte, Doug Martin, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris, Chris Ivory, etc. Not a good time to be a RB looking for a big payday.

  8. Sounds like Forte really wanted to stay in Chicago. With John Fox putting such an emphasis on the running game, I’m surprised they didn’t find some way to keep Forte on the team. No home town discount?

  9. Expectations of a Lombardi in Chicago? Come on now everybody knows that Bears hibernate in the winter when the playoffs are played!

  10. Many don’t but Forte will get decent offers. O.J. Anderson played well in the right system into his mid-30’s.

  11. Great player and great guy. Wish him luck wherever he lands. Phenomenal Bear.

    I could easily see him in New England, which frankly would extend Tom Brady’s career. As someone who isn’t a Pats fan, that’s a scary scenario.

  12. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! 😦 man this stinks. If Halas was running the team, Matt would be a Bear for life. No loyalty anymore.

    Don’t give me the crap about 30 years old. Matt is a beast still and for a team friendly deal he should be back. Take a look around the league, everyone needs two running backs. One blow to langfords knees and we have Kadeem Carey to run the show. Mistake.

    This move will haunt us in 2016.

  13. For all the comments on him going to the Pats, I can’t really see Belichick condoning a big FA spend for a RB who just turned 30. The Patriots under Belichick are fairly well known for cutting people ahead of the curve, not picking them up on the back end.

    Forte probably has another good year or two in him, but there are probably other teams who will offer him a payday. You never know, but I suspect Belichick will continue to just work his magic with cheap, no-name backs.

  14. Regarding my comment above about me doubting the Pats under Belichick would spring for a 30 year old RB, it just occurred to me that Belichick is probably very aware that he probably only has a couple more years with Brady so he might enter into a “win now” approach that we’re not accustomed to seeing him with.

    He’s a smart guy. He knows that when Brady declines, he’s going to have to start that offense from scratch. Gronkowski can make any QB look good, but Brady IS that team.

  15. laxcoach37 says:
    Feb 12, 2016 10:55 AM

    Not so fast about Forte going to the Patriots… here is why: Lamar Miller! Everyone know the Dolphins are the Minor Leagues Training Grounds for all future stars in the league. My guess is all these FA RB’s will actually reduce the price war. Miller, Forte, Doug Martin, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris, Chris Ivory, etc. Not a good time to be a RB looking for a big payday
    ——————————————–
    But aren’t they ALL going to New England?

  16. I can’t see the Pats paying significant money to a back, fit or not. The only RB Belichick has ever paid decent money to is Dillon. They’re not exactly swimming in cap room either(about 5 under), even after they release Mayo(saving 7.5 mil). They have a lot of good players on D they need to be proactive with. They have White, DLewis coming back and could probably have Blount back cheap if they want to. Then they’ll add a draft pick or UFA or 2. Josh Gordon is more intriguing, if he’s staightened himself out.

  17. The NFC North has now lessened. As a Lions fan I admired your skills over the years. Hope you land in a place with a chance to win. Just not with the Packers lol

  18. With the steady stream of cheap and, if not great, at least reliable running back talent in the draft every year you can’t see Forte landing a big contract anywhere. That doesn’t mean that he won’t sign anywhere, though. Indy needs someone reliable in the backfield to take the heat off of Luck, Tennessee could use someone a little more reliable than Sankey, Ivory is going to do his best to leave the Jets, New Orleans running game needs a boost, San Francisco with Kelly might be a good landing spot for a running back with as much skill as he has in the passing game, and Buffalo might need someone to replace Shady if he goes to jail.

    Sorry to see him leave the Bears because that’s the uniform he will always be remembered in, but I’m sure he’s going to land on his feet.

  19. Can’t blame him for wanting out of that dumpster!!
    They have no chance to win a Super Bowl anyways!!
    Just like the pack or lions
    ——————–

    When did he ever say he wanted out? You obviously didn’t read the article or have any clue of what you’re taking about. He said earlier in the week that he wanted to retire as a Bear.

  20. If the Patriots dont sign him, I fully expect them to pursue Lamar Miller or Alfred Morris. Whoever represent the best value (in my estimation, that’s Forte) will succeed Blount.

  21. Best of luck to you, Matt, wherever you finally land. You truly have been a pleasure to watch. As you can see from all of the comments, everyone has the utmost respect for as a competitor and as a person. You will do well, I am sure of it, whatever team you choose.

  22. A serious Bears Fan here and this is HARD TO SAY, but I see him headed to New England to get his ring. With his ability to run & catch, I hate to think what he is capable of in that offense! Wishing you the BEST Matt!

  23. laxcoach37 says:
    Feb 12, 2016 10:55 AM
    Not so fast about Forte going to the Patriots… here is why: Lamar Miller! Everyone know the Dolphins are the Minor Leagues Training Grounds for all future stars in the league. My guess is all these FA RB’s will actually reduce the price war. Miller, Forte, Doug Martin, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris, Chris Ivory, etc. Not a good time to be a RB looking for a big payday.
    ________________________________________
    You just named a bunch of middle of the road backs. Martin, and Morris being at the top of that middle heap, but they can’t carry Forte’s jock. None of them, so your premise is wrong, especially when you start with Lamar Miller.
    There’s Jamal Charles, Matt Forte, and until last year Shady McCoy…that’s it, those three that can do it all at an incredible level. The guys you named only get mentioned with Matt Forte when there’s an NFL list of UFA RB’s.

  24. Not so fast about Forte going to the Patriots… here is why: Lamar Miller! Everyone know the Dolphins are the Minor Leagues Training Grounds for all future stars in the league. My guess is all these FA RB’s will actually reduce the price war. Miller, Forte, Doug Martin, Bilal Powell, Alfred Morris, Chris Ivory, etc. Not a good time to be a RB looking for a big payday
    ——————————————–
    But aren’t they ALL going to New England?

    They could all co-partner with brady selling magic elixir the team funds. Make sure you put down coke and frosted flakes.

  25. Nothing but mad respect for this guy. He’s earned the right to be called the best RB in Bears’ history after Sweetness.
    ———–
    You do know that the Bears did have a football team prior to the late 70’s, right? I love me some Matt Forte but there is NO WAY that I would take him over Gayle Sayers. 1. Sweetness 2. Sayers (VERY close 2nd). Man… if Gayle played longer, WOW.

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