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Matt Forte Announces He Will Not Return To Bears

NFL

Chicago, IL – Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte announced on Instagram Friday morning that he will not be returning to the Bears next season.

The post reads: Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end. 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!

Forte was the second-most-productive running back in franchise history, only behind Walter Payton, making a splash onto the scene as a rookie in 2008.

The Bears later confirmed Forte’s announcement on Twitter, saying they told the running back that they would not re-sign him. Forte will be a free agent when the new league year begins 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 Friday in a statement. “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.”

After eight seasons with the club, the 30-year-old running back will now test free-agency for the first time in his career. He earned a base salary of $7.05 million with the Bears last season. A season that was plague injuries, still managing to rack up 898 yards rushing and 389 more through the air, scoring seven total touchdowns.

Forte rushed for 8,602 yards and scored 64 total touchdowns.

With the emergence of Jeremy Langford to the scene, the Bears sought an opportunity to take on a cheaper back instead of sticking with the proven veteran.

Photo credit to 4screens Wurst via Flickr

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