Matt Forte's time is through with the Chicago Bears after eight seasons, as the running back revealed on Instagram that the team has already informed him that he will not receive a new contract to stay in Chicago.
"I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency," Forte said in his farewell to Bears fans. "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."
Forte, 30, has spent his entire career with the Bears after he was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, eclipsing 1,000 yards in five of his eight seasons. The 898 yards tallied in 2015 were a career low for Forte, although a sprained MCL caused him to miss three games.
"These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community," general manager Ryan Pace said. "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."
Finding success after 30 is rare for running backs, but Forte averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 2015 and has missed just eight games in his career, proving himself to be one of the NFL's most durable backs.
Wherever Forte lands, he won't receive another four-year, $30.4 million contract like the one he was given in 2012, but he may be able to get a deal similar to the three-year, $12 million contract that the Indianapolis Colts gave 31-year-old Frank Gore. Other aging veterans like DeAngelo Williams and Steven Jackson weren't as lucky on the open market, though.
Forte leaves the Bears with 8,602 rushing yards, behind only Walter Payton in franchise history, along with 45 touchdowns.
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