INDIANAPOLIS – Former Bears running back Matt Forte, who ranks second on the franchise's all-time rushing list behind Hall of Fame Walter Payton, announced his retirement from the NFL Wednesday after 10 seasons.
Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Tulane, Forte spent his first eight NFL seasons in Chicago before playing with the New York Jets the last two years.
Forte is second in Bears history behind Payton in rushing yards (8,602), receptions (487), receiving yards by a running back (4,116), yards from scrimmage (12,718), 100-yard rushing games (24) and games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage (25).
Forte led the Bears in rushing for eight straight seasons from 2008-15, the longest stretch since Payton was the team's top rusher for 12 consecutive seasons from 1975-86. Forte also became the second fastest player in NFL history to compile 8,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards receiving behind only Marshall Faulk.
Forte announced his retirement via the following statement on social media:
After Matt Forte announced his retirement Wednesday, ChicagoBears.com ranked the running back's 10 best games with the Bears.
"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 lifelong 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 have 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!"