Matt Forte, the 44th overall pick of the 2008 draft, has announced his retirement, posting some thoughts on social media Wednesday:
“For the past 10 years, I’ve been blessed to play professionally a game that I’ve loved since I was 6 years old,” Forte began. “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.”
He goes on to say how grateful he is to his parents, Gene and Gilda Forte; his agent, Adisa Bakari; the Jets; his many coaches and teachers; and of course, the McCaskey family and Bears organization and its fans.
“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 Gayle Sayers and Walter Payton,” Forte wrote. “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!”
Forte met his wife, Danielle, in Chicago, and the two have three children.
Forte spent the past two seasons with the New York Jets, but he’ll be remembered as a member of the Bears, where he played the first eight seasons of his career. His 8,602 yards rushing in a Bears uniform are second-most in team history behind Payton.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Forte retires just shy of 10,000 career rushing yards; he totaled 9,796 in 146 games, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He added 4,672 receiving yards. Forte scored 75 touchdowns – 54 rushing and 21 receiving. He was a member of the 2008 All-Rookie team, after starting all 16 games, with 1,715 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns.
Forte was named to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2013.