(CBS) The Bears made the team decision to part with running back Matt Forte, whose eight-year career in Chicago will be remembered alongside some of the franchise’s great players.
Now 30, Forte’s a free agent prepared to find his next team on the open market. One of the teams that could pursue Forte’s services is the Bears’ arch rivals, the Green Bay Packers.
For Bears chairman George McCaskey, the idea of seeing Forte in Packers colors is a cringe-worthy thought. He was asked about this while in studio with the Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score on Friday.
“Oh, jeez, don’t even go there,” McCaskey said. “Any other team. We wish him the best. He still has some production in him I’m sure. But, jeez, not the team up north.”
Bears general manager Ryan Pace made the decision to let Forte walk from the franchise, citing his belief in the team’s younger running backs, Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey. Chicago is likely to pursue one more running back in the draft or free agency.
McCaskey is a chairman whose leadership style allows his front office to work independently. He trusts those employees to do their jobs well, but McCaskey also identifies himself as a passionate Bears fan. Seeing Forte leave Chicago was sentimental.
“As a fan, yeah, you are at conflict,” McCaskey said. “Matt’s been a great Bear, the ultimate professional, on and off the field.
“Complete player, great work ethic. That’s the way to take of yourself as a pro.”
The Bears are entering a critical offseason, with more than $46 million in cap space and nine draft picks at their disposal. McCaskey emphasized his trust in Pace and coach John Fox to lead the Bears to a championship.