LAKE FOREST, IL –(ENEWSPF)—February 12, 2016. The Chicago Bears will not re-sign RB Matt Forte for the 2016 season. The team’s all-purpose back for the last eight seasons played his ﬁnal year under contract in 2015 and will be a free agent when the NFL league year begins on March 9.
“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.”
In eight seasons with the Bears, Forté had 12,718 yards from scrimmage rushing for 8,602 yards and hauling in 4,116 receiving yards. He ranks second in franchise history in yards from scrimmage, rushing yards, receptions (487), 100-yard rushing contests (24) and games with 150 yards or more from scrimmage (25), trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton in all ﬁve categories. With 45 rushing touchdowns and 19 receiving scores, his 64 total touchdowns are third in franchise annals behind Payton and Neal Anderson. He is also sixth in franchise annals in receiving yards. Forté’s versatility puts him in elite company with Payton as his eight seasons with 1,200 yards from scrimmage in a Bears uniform are second only to Payton’s 10, with the next closest players ringing in at just three such seasons. Forté (106.0 yards per game) and Payton (111.9 ypg) are the only two players in franchise history to average over 100 yards from scrimmage per game in the Bears careers. A two-time Pro Bowl selection (2011 and 2013 seasons), Forté leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage and games with 150 or more yards from scrimmage since entering the league in 2008. He is also fourth in rushing yards while ranking ﬁrst among running backs in receptions and receiving yards and is third among running backs in receiving touchdowns during that time. In 2014, he broke the NFL single-season mark for receptions by a running back with 102 and set the franchise single-season running back record for receiving yards (808) that year. He is one-of-12 players in NFL history with 8,000 career rushing yards and 4,000 career receiving yards and is one of ﬁve players in NFL history to have 1,200-plus yards from scrimmage in each of his ﬁrst eight seasons, joining Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson and Ricky Watters. A team-captain in 2015, Forté is a two-time recipient of the team’s Brian Piccolo Award (2008 and 2014), the team’s 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and was one of eight NFL ﬁnalists for the 2015 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.