The New England Patriots are rumored to be looking at one of the NFL’s most productive running backs, with the departure of Matt Forte from the Chicago Bears possibly giving the Patriots an important weapon.
Forte and the Bears parted ways on Friday, with each side announcing that there would not be a new contract for the versatile running back. While there are no official indications yet where Forte will end up, the New England Patriots have been a popular point of speculation.
NESN noted that Forte could be a great fit for New England, and the move would help him meet his goal of winning a Super Bowl.
“The New England Patriots need a running back, and one of the NFL’s most consistent players will hit the open market in less than a month. Might as well announce the introductory conference call now, right? That all depends on Matt Forte, who will become a free agent March 9 and said last week: ‘It’s not even about the money. I want to be in the Super Bowls.’
“Forte has a chance to put his money where his mouth is after announcing Friday that the Bears won’t re-sign him. If Forte really is willing to take a pay cut to compete for a Super Bowl, the Patriots would be a great fit for the eight-year veteran’s services.”
Though the writing had been on the wall this season, Forte’s departure from the Chicago Bears became official on Friday when Forte announced that the team told him he would not be back next year.
Matt Forte to New England?
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 12, 2016
“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.”
The team later added their own confirmation, with general manager Ryan Pace taking to Twitter to thank Forte for his many year there.
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2016
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,” Pace wrote. “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.”
Matt Forte will go down as the best Chicago Bears running back not named Walter Payton. He rushed for 8,602 yards and 64 touchdowns in eight seasons, and this year led the team with 898 yards. He also caught 44 passes for 389 yards and seven total touchdowns.
If the rumors connecting Matt Forte to the New England Patriots are true, it would likely move the Patriots back up to the team to beat in the AFC and give Tom Brady a versatile and dangerous weapon.
[Picture by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]