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

Matt Forte 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.

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53 Responses to “Matt Forte makes it official: He’s out in Chicago”
  1. The Almighty Cabbage says: Feb 12, 2016 10:31 AM

    That’s a shame. As a Packer fan, there have been some Bears players over the years that have been due nothing but respect. Forte is definitely in that group. I hate it for the Bears’ fans.

  2. learysdisciples says: Feb 12, 2016 10:32 AM

    Welcome to the Houston Texans, Matt.

  3. iseek11 says: Feb 12, 2016 10:35 AM

    Perfect fit for a repeat run in Denver.

  4. touchdownelvis says: Feb 12, 2016 10:35 AM

    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).

  5. clipper522 says: Feb 12, 2016 10:36 AM

    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!!

  6. vikesr4reel says: Feb 12, 2016 10:36 AM

    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

  7. hanspard says: Feb 12, 2016 10:37 AM

    Some guys aren’t worth chasing after 30, but he is. I could see the Pats or Packers being an option.

  8. matthoover4 says: Feb 12, 2016 10:38 AM

    Patriots? Seahawks? Cowboys? Lot of good landing spots for Forte, with those first two giving him a good shot at finishing his career with a Lombardi.

  9. Kapodaco says: Feb 12, 2016 10:39 AM

    Good luck with your future endeavors, champ.

  10. bobC927 says: Feb 12, 2016 10:39 AM

    Perfect match for the Pats.

  11. tformation says: Feb 12, 2016 10:39 AM

    Hell of a Bear! We’ll miss you, Matt!

  12. dhillca says: Feb 12, 2016 10:40 AM

    Patriots

  13. reasonisthereason says: Feb 12, 2016 10:40 AM

    Not pictured: Matt Forte

  14. dtriebel says: Feb 12, 2016 10:45 AM

    Always a class act, hope he lands in a good spot, he’s taken good care of himself and despite being 30 still has gas left in the tank.

  15. TB12RALLYCRY says: Feb 12, 2016 10:46 AM

    If your phone rings and its 508 area code pick it up ….Its Bill Belichick………

  16. rextraordinaire says: Feb 12, 2016 10:48 AM

    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

  17. toybkshr says: Feb 12, 2016 10:50 AM

    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)

  18. karmathaitch says: Feb 12, 2016 10:54 AM

    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.

  19. 6ball says: Feb 12, 2016 10:54 AM

    .
    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.
    .

  20. 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.

  21. thevza says: Feb 12, 2016 10:58 AM

    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?

  22. Kelly's Chronicles says: Feb 12, 2016 10:59 AM

    Cam pay attention. Take notes. It didn’t go his way and he was classy. And people appreciate him.

  23. Straight Cash Homie says: Feb 12, 2016 11:01 AM

    Come back home to the city where you played your college ball so we can cut Spiller.

  24. greenbaychicksarefat says: Feb 12, 2016 11:02 AM

    Class Act right there

  25. atthemurph says: Feb 12, 2016 11:02 AM

    Underrated

  26. dbfan4ever says: Feb 12, 2016 11:04 AM

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

  27. JSpicoli says: Feb 12, 2016 11:04 AM

    510 calling

  28. milkcan44 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:07 AM

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

  29. cfos00 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:12 AM

    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.

  30. vdogg says: Feb 12, 2016 11:14 AM

    This one hurts as a Bears fan, class act, played hard, always reliable. Best of luck Matt!

  31. tdubdizzle says: Feb 12, 2016 11:14 AM

    Raiders!!!

  32. fordmandalay says: Feb 12, 2016 11:16 AM

    I can’t imagine more than 30 other teams that will immediately be interested in signing him.

  33. soldierofhalas33 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:18 AM

    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.

  34. dohczeppelin says: Feb 12, 2016 11:25 AM

    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.

  35. dohczeppelin says: Feb 12, 2016 11:30 AM

    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.

  36. Getoffmylawn! says: Feb 12, 2016 11:39 AM

    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?

  37. tedmurph says: Feb 12, 2016 11:42 AM

    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.

  38. wingnut739 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:43 AM

    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

  39. steelerben says: Feb 12, 2016 11:48 AM

    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.

  40. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2016 11:51 AM

    Welcome to the Patriots.

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

  41. pete2112 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:04 PM

    Not unexpected but still a sad day for this Bears fan. He was always a class act in Chicago and I’m sure where ever he winds up he’ll do well.

  42. pete2112 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:07 PM

    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.

  43. luckyjim1980 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:23 PM

    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.

  44. vikingforlife says: Feb 12, 2016 12:53 PM

    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.

  45. catfish252 says: Feb 12, 2016 12:53 PM

    Always a Class Act and Professional, thanks Matt and all the best in the future. Giants fan.

  46. chicagofan4ever says: Feb 12, 2016 1:00 PM

    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!

  47. greenmtnboy31 says: Feb 12, 2016 1:49 PM

    A true professional that some team is going to be very fortunate to have on their roster next season.

    #BEARDOWN

    Bears Fan since Brian’s Song

  48. ghostof34 says: Feb 12, 2016 2:53 PM

    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.

  49. daytontriangles says: Feb 12, 2016 4:03 PM

    Let’s hope getting cut from the Bears works out as well for Matt Forte as it did for Greg Olsen.

  50. coloradofort says: Feb 12, 2016 4:54 PM

    We’ll take him in Denver.

  51. fanofpft says: Feb 12, 2016 6:48 PM

    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.

  52. iamjoshgordonswastedlife says: Feb 12, 2016 9:27 PM

    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.

  53. fanboyarmy says: Feb 16, 2016 1:12 AM

    People that have to cry about their problems on social media are losers!

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