The Bears were not the only ones thinking they could manage and it was time to move on from a once-elite running back.
In moves paralleling the Bears’ redirecting away from Matt Forte, not entirely surprising, the Houston Texans cut running back Arian Foster and his $6.5 million salary for 2016 rather than attempt a renegotiation. This follows the Detroit Lions release last month of Joique Bell with one year remaining on his deal.
The Bears decided following the 2015 season that understudies Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey would capably move into the vacuum created by the team not offering Forte a contract.
However, that may not be the end of it for the Bears, as far as running backs are concerned.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]
The Carolina Panthers with John Fox as coach used two No. 1 picks in the span of three years on running backs – DeAngelo Williams in 2006, Jonathan Stewart in 2008 – in addition to a No. 2 in 2002 on one, DeShaun Foster.
The New Orleans Saints, during the time Bears GM Ryan Pace was a member of their personnel operations, used the No. 2-overall pick of the 2006 draft on a running back – Reggie Bush – and came back with their second No. 1 pick in 2011 for another – Mark Ingram.
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is regarded as the top running back in the 2016 draft. The Bears may be saying now that they are good with their running backs, but if Elliott happens to still be around at No. 11 of the 2016 first round...
Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.
According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.
The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.
For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.
Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.
The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.
The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night.
Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.
For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.