That feeling turned a tad bitter when Forte was not offered a contract. He then watched as they went after Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson, which in the football world is the equivalent of being dumped for a shot at the younger, more attractive model.
Me either RT @singinsince3: The way Ryan Pace went after C.J Anderson after not even offering Forte a contract doesnt sit well with me!!â Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 23, 2016
Forte made it clear it wasn't that big of a deal, but the temporary display of honesty was a welcome window into a player's psyche this time of year. A lot of times, free agents are fairly obvious. The Giants were never bringing back Rueben Randle, and the Dolphins made it clear early on that Olivier Vernon was out of their price range. Mario Williams was absolutely never returning to Buffalo.
Forte seemed to fall into that category as well. He's been in the league for eight solid seasons and understands the business side of the game, yet the moment when a team starts looking elsewhere -- looking younger -- is still significant. It serves as a reminder that this game is so much more than the plays called and on-paper matchups. Forte had roots in Chicago, and while the Jets probably put him in a better spot to succeed over the next two years, it was still enough to raise an eyebrow.
Like we said, Forte made it clear that he was cool about the whole thing. That doesn't mean he didn't give it a second thought. There's a difference.