Free agency isn’t set to start for another month, but running back Matt Forte will be looking for a new home. The Chicago Bears won’t be re-signing the eight-year veteran, per an Instagram post Forte shared Friday morning.
"Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end," he wrote. "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."
Forte had five 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the Bears, and two years ago also caught 102 passes for 808 yards. General manager Ryan Pace likely views Forte expendable after rookie Jeremy Langford, a fourth-round pick, emerged as a viable option for Bears going forward. Langford had 537 yards on 148 carries, played in all 16 games, and started two while Forte was hurt. Ka’Deem Carey is also on the roster.
Pace responded to Forte’s post, according to NFL.com.
"We recently met with Matt to inform him we will not extend a contract offer for the 2016 season," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said. "These decisions are never easy, especially given what Matt has meant to our team and community. 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."