Former Chicago Bear Matt Forte Retires

CHICAGO, IL- JANUARY 03: Matt Forte /

A fan favorite, Matt Forte, has retired from the NFL.

Long-time Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.

Forte had a productive 10-year career where he spent the first eight years with the Chicago Bears and his final two with the New York Jets. Forte always handled himself with the utmost class and became a fan favorite among Bears’ fans.

Whenever you entered Soldier Field on a Sunday, the stands were littered with “22” jerseys. Forte was an integral part of the team’s offense, becoming a favorite target of QB Jay Cutler as well.

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Forte was the Bears’ second round pick in 2008 and was consistently solid year in and year out. Forte topped 1000 yards five times (and missing by 3 yards one other time), scored double-digit touchdowns three times, and even tallied 102 catches in 2014. Forte led the league in rushing in 2013.

Despite Forte’s success, he was only named to two Pro Bowls. Despite not receiving a lot of accolades, Forte leaves behind a legacy as one of the great Bears’ running backs of all-time. Forte certainly wasn’t Walter Payton and he definitely wasn’t Gale Sayers, but unless you want to go back to the days of Red Grange or Bronko Nagurski, he’s arguably the third greatest back to ever don the navy and orange.

Will Forte ever have his name called in Canton? That’s doubtful, and with Brian Urlacher‘s induction, he will have to stand in line behind Devin Hester, Peanut Tillman or even Olin Kreutz before Forte is even considered. Forte will always be considered one of the great Bears’ of his era and he will be inducted in the team’s ring of honor some day, but that’s where the accolades will end.

Matt Forte’s NFL career is over, but he won’t be forgotten in Chicago.