The Bears were faced with a tough decision at the end of this season on whether to try to re-sign veteran Matt Forte or let him walk via free agency. Ultimately, the Bears decided to make the smart financial and business move by parting ways with Forte and going with rookie Jeremy Langford next season.
“It was a decision to move on,” general manager Ryan Pace told reporters on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Pace let it be known that the Bears declined to offer Forte any kind of contract and stuck with a clean break.
“It’s the confidence we have in our younger backs,” Pace said. “We like our younger backs. We see them as ascending players. The confidence we have in player development [went into the decision to let Forte walk away].”
Pace wanted to give Forte advanced notice that he would not be retained so that Forte could find a new team to latch on with.
“Treating Matt with the respect he deserves,” Pace said, when asked what went into the decision to let Forte know early. “That meant handling that with urgency, and once we made a decision, telling Matt as soon as possible.
“We met with him after the season and I promised him, ‘Hey, when we come to a decision, we’re going to tell you as soon as possible for you and your agent,’ and that’s how it played out.”
Forte should have no trouble finding gainful employment. There are plenty of teams without a featured back, as well as a select handful of teams that are in prime position to make a Super Bowl push with Forte’s services.