(670 The Score) Matt Forte, one of the best running backs in Bears history, has announced his retirement after a standout 10-year NFL career.
A second-round pick in 2008, Forte spent the first eight years of his career with the Bears before playing his last two with the Jets. He compiled 8,602 rushing yards and 12,718 all-purpose yards, both second to only Walter Payton in Bears history.
Forte was a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2013.
Forte, 32, released a long statement to Sports Spectrum announcing his retirement late Wednesday morning. In it, he called Bears fans “the best” in all of pro sports. He added that, “It’s time for the workhorse to finally rest in his stable.”
“For the past 10 years, I’ve been blessed to play professionally a game that I’ve loved since I was 6 years old. But, after much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided to retire from the NFL. Like so many others before me, this game has enhanced my life in numerous ways. My career in the League has been nothing short of a miracle granted by God and put on display for His glory. I will cherish the many memories made on the field and the life-long friends I’ve made over the years in the locker room. I’m even more grateful that God blessed me with Gene and Gilda Forté; my two amazing parents that constantly supplied me with unending love, support, patience, and motivation since I came into this world. I’ve become the man and father that I am today because of both of you. I am forever indebted to Jimmie and Dolores Daniels and the city of Chicago because not only did I get to live out my childhood dream in playing for the Bears, but also it was here where I fell in Love with my beautiful wife Danielle and started a family of my own. I want to thank my agent Adisa Bakari for guidance throughout my career and preparing me for this moment and for life after football while still playing. It’s not often that you see an agent who cares about his clients beyond the contracts and field and for that, I appreciate you. I’d like to thank the New York Jets organization for the past two years. My experience as a Jet was truly first rate. To all of my many coaches and teachers over the years, thank you for your dedication and commitment to my growth and success as a person and player. To the McCaskey family and the entire Chicago Bears organization, thank you for the honor of allowing me to be a part of the rich Chicago Bears tradition and to run in the footsteps of greats like Gale Sayers and Walter Payton. Lastly, to all Chicago Bears fans, you’re truly the best fans in all of professional sports. Thank you for embracing my family and me from day one! The roar of the crowd at Soldier Field as I’d break a run or make a big catch will forever be ingrained in my mind. The past 25 years playing America’s game has left me with unparalleled joy. But, it’s time for the workhorse to finally rest in his stable. While my heart is a bit heavy as I close this chapter of my life, I am excited about what the future holds. God Bless and Bear Down!”
Forte left the Bears after the 2015 season. He wanted to return to Chicago, but general manager Ryan Pace and the Bears wanted to go in a younger direction.