Meet Bears' Jeremy Langford, heir apparent to Matt Forte

Editor's note: This has been updated with Friday's news that the Bears will not re-sign Matt Forte.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Now that the Bears have informed Matt Forte that he won't be re-signed, Jeremy Langford becomes the heir apparent to the featured running back role.

Here are five things to know about the 24-year-old Langford, who just finished a strong rookie season with 537 yards and six touchdowns on 148 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass.

1. Heir apparent: Forte, 30, enjoyed a tremendous career in Chicago, but the Bears were not prepared to overpay him. On the other hand, Langford checks all the boxes. As is the case with Forte, Langford is a dual threat on offense. His 109 receiving yards versus the Rams in Week 10 were the most ever by a Bears rookie in one game. Forte has better moves in space, but Langford is faster, younger and just as dangerous in the passing attack.

2. Understudy: Langford is smart. He spent the offseason program and training camp observing and learning from Forte -- the NFL’s top all-purpose back since 2008. Veterans don’t care for rookies who act like they know it all. Langford asked questions. He took the humble approach. Langford even trained with Forte (a notorious workout warrior) for a short period of time prior to camp in Bourbonnais.

3. Milestone man: Langford is one of three Bears running backs to finish a game with at least 100 yards receiving, one receiving touchdown and one rushing touchdown. Can you guess the other two? Don’t think too hard: Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Gale Sayers. That’s elite company. Langford’s 83-yard receiving touchdown inside the Edward Jones Dome was the fourth-longest reception by a running back in franchise history -- Forte holds the record with an 89-yard catch against the Lions in 2010. Langford also became just the third rookie in NFL history with at least 70 rushing yards, one touchdown run, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in the same game when he accomplished that feat in St. Louis.

4. Bargain price: As a fourth-round pick, Langford signed a four-year, $2,823,624 contract that included a signing bonus of $543,624. Langford is set to earn $525,000 next year and count just $660,906 against the Bears’ salary cap. Forte, by comparison, is taking up $9.2 million worth of salary cap space in 2015, plus grossing a base salary of $7.05 million. Forte earned every penny of that deal, but Chicago can address other areas of need in the offseason since Langford is so inexpensive. The earliest Langford can push for an extension is after the 2017 season per the collective bargaining agreement.

5. Sparty: Langford was a four-year letter winner at Michigan State, where he rushed for 2,967 yards on 577 carries with 40 touchdowns. He finished his Spartans career with 18 100-yard rushing games, the third most in MSU history. Langford closed out his college career by rushing for more than 100 yards in 16 consecutive games against Big Ten opponents.