Former Bears, Jets running back Matt Forte retires after 10 years in the NFL

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Former Bears and Jets running back Matt Forte has announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 years in the league. 

Forte was drafted in the second round in 2008 by the Bears and finishes his underrated career as a two-time pro bowler. 

The 32-year-old took to Twitter to announce his decision:

"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 wrote. "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."

Forte is a hugely respected figure around the league and tributes from former teammates and media members alike have been pouring in on social media.

His two teams were amongst the first to pay tribute to his outstanding career.

Titans running back Demarco Murray was one of the first current players to pay tribute to Forte along with former Bears teammate Kyle Long:

Following in Forte's footsteps in Chicago, Bears running back Jordan Howard paid his respect to the franchise legend.

After two underwhelming seasons with the Jets, Forte leaves the game as the 33rd all-time leading rusher and ranks 28th in career scrimmage yards (14,468).

His most memorable moments came in Chicago though, where he will go down as one of the franchise's best modern players. Forte ranks  in Bears history behind Hall of Famer Walter Payton in rushing yards (8,602), receiving yards by a running back (4,116), yards from scrimmage (12,718), 100-yard rushing games (24), scrimmage yards per game (106.0) and games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage (25).

In an era dominated, at least in narrative, by Adrian Peterson, Forte's numbers paint a picture of one of the most underrated, consistent backs in NFL history. 

Over the last ten seasons, no player gained more yards from scrimmage than Forte. Let that sink in for a second. Seven time Pro Bowler, and four time All Pro Adrian Peterson has been active for the entirety of Forte's career. 

Yet it is Forte who has compiled more total yards than the sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer. He also outgained bona fide stars such as LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and Jamaal Charles over his career. 

His versatility as a back who can catch balls out of the backfield as well as providing a strong running game, made him enormously valuable in Chicago. And, his worth to fantasy football owners cant be underestimated either.

His statistical worth will likely only be appreciated now that he is gone but you have to wonder why he was never considered an elite back for a long period in the league with numbers that place him amongst the greatest of all time. 

Forte is one of only six backs in history to rush for 9000 yards and post over 4500 receiving yards. As you can see, he is in esteemed company in this category...

NFL Network's Adam Rank, a devout Bears fan, showed what Forte has meant to fans in Chicago with an appreciative tweet:

Forte's success on the field has gained him the highest respect from his peers. Additionally, in a day and age when so many players create headlines for all the wrong reasons off the field, his fortitude and integrity as a person only add to his legacy as one of the league's good guys. 

Jets beat writer Connor Hughes shared this little insight to display the kind of man Forte was: 

Forte will be sorely missed both on and off the field, and seemingly the whole league is wishing him all the best in his well deserved retirement. 

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