Matt Forte's days in a Bears uniform could very well be done.
The veteran running back becomes more veteran by the day, and last season's backup, Jeremy Langford, showed flashes of promise during a disappointing campaign. Plus, with Forte hitting the free-agent market, the price tag might not be in the Bears' financial plan.
This week, the Sun-Times' Patrick Finley reported that Forte has yet to even hear from the Bears about a potential contract that would keep him in Chicago, where he's spent his entire eight-year NFL career.
Matt Forte last met with Ryan Pace on Jan. 4, as the Bears were cleaning out their lockers. The GM told the Bears running back — and pending free agent — that he would evaluate the roster, make a decision about his future and let him know.
Exactly a month later — crickets.
“I haven’t been called yet,” Forte said Thursday, “so I guess they don’t know what they’re going to do yet.”
There are plenty of reasons the Bears might want to move on from Forte, but without a doubt he's one of the most productive players in franchise history. His 8,602 rushing yards in a Bears uniform are second in club history only to Walter Payton.
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ChicagoFootball.com's Hub Arkush joined SportsTalk Live on Friday and spoke on how the team's lack of communication could affect the chances of Forte returning to the Bears next season.
"I don't think they need to talk to him to make a decision as to whether they want him or not to let him know. I think it's probably just bad communication, it's probably bad office policy, if you will," Arkush said. "There's nothing wrong with letting a beloved and cherished member of your organization like Matt Forte know that you want him back, that you want him around. They should be in contact with him to say, 'Hey, we're working on it, be patient.' Just do the right things, act like a class organization.
"I think complete silence is a mistake. It's probably going to make Forte more apt to listen to other offers that may not be that much better than a Bears offer that he might take because he could be unhappy about the way he's being treated. It's not that they're doing anything wrong, necessarily, by not being in touch with him. It just doesn't sound like they're doing it right either if they do have any intention of trying to bring him back and keep him happy."