Matt Forte, Chicago Bears Part Ways After 8 Seasons

Matt Forte

After eight seasons, running back Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears are parting ways.

Forte revealed the news himself in an Instagram post, writing: "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."

Forte, 30, is the second-most-productive running back in franchise history, behind only Hall of Famer Walter Payton. During eight seasons with the Bears, he rushed for 8,602 yards and scored 64 total touchdowns.

Last season, as a team captain, he led the team in rushing last season with 898 yards and caught 44 passes for 389 yards, while scoring seven total touchdowns. Forte also earned a base salary of $7.05 million last season, but was denied a request for an extension last offseason.

The Bears confirmed Forte's announcement on Twitter, saying they told the running back that they would not re-sign him... resulting in him becoming a free agent 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 in a statement Friday. "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."