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Forte signs three-year deal with Jets

The New York Jets on Thursday night officially announced the signing of former Bears running back Matt Forte to a reported three-year contract.

The 30-year-old played his first eight NFL seasons with the Bears after being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Tulane.

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Matt Forte
Since entering the league, Forte leads all NFL players with 12,718 yards from scrimmage and ranks fourth with 8,602 yards rushing.

The Bears announced Feb. 12 that they weren't going to offer Forte a contract, a decision that was due in part to their faith in young running backs Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey.

"What allowed us to make that decision—albeit a very difficult decision—was the confidence we had in our younger backs," coach John Fox said Feb. 24 at the NFL Combine.

With the Jets, Forte will reunite with former Bears teammate Brandon Marshall.

Flying south: Former Bears tackle Jermon Bushrod has joined ex-offensive coordinator Adam Gase with the Dolphins. Bushrod was released by the Bears Feb. 16 after three seasons with the team. Gase left the Bears after one season to become Dolphins head coach.

Back to school: Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be honored during halftime of Vanderbilt's intrasquad Black and Gold Spring Game on Friday, March 25. Cutler will be recognized for his inclusion in the 2015 Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame class.

A four-year starter and three-year captain at Vanderbilt from 2002-05, Cutler set all-time school passing records with 1,242 attempts, 710 completions, 8,697 yards and 59 touchdowns.

As a senior in 2005, he was named SEC offensive player of the year and first-team all-SEC after completing 273 of 462 passes for 3,073 yards and 21 touchdowns.

The final pass of Cutler's collegiate career was a game-winning five-yard touchdown to future Bears teammate Earl Bennett, lifting the Commodores to a 28-24 victory over Tennessee. The TD came with 1:11 remaining and gave Vanderbilt its first win over Tennessee since 1982, snapping a 22-game losing streak.

New role: Bears Hall of Famer Mike Ditka has signed a two-year contract extension to remain at ESPN in a new role. Beginning in September, the former tight end and coach will become a year-round contributor to SportsCenter.

Ditka had previously appeared on ESPN's NFL pregame show, but he had grown weary of the weekly travel and was replaced by Matt Hasselbeck.

"This new role is really a blessing," Ditka said in a statement released by ESPN. "It's something I asked for. After many years of weekend travel, I'm thrilled I'll get to watch NFL games on Sundays and Monday nights in the comfort of my own home. I enjoy being part of the game and part of ESPN. I really do. So this is a great solution."

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