To say former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte was a workhorse is a massive understatement.
In a league full of running back timeshares and third-down backs, Forte proved to be an unique weapon out of the backfield. Capable of running between the tackles on early downs and running routes in the passing game, Forte was a dual-threat that left defensive coaches scratching their heads.
Forte got off to a running start in his NFL career by setting the record for most rushing attempts by a Bears rookie with 316 attempts. As if that workload weren't enough, Forte would add 63 receptions for a grand total of 379 total touches in a season. The Bears rookie would put up over 1,700 yards from scrimmage and found the end zone 12 times. Perhaps just as impressive, in those 379 total touches, Forte only fumbled once the entire season as he lead the team in both rushing attempts and receptions.
The Bears would bounce between winning (11-5, 2010) and losing (7-9, 2009) seasons as Forte continued to be a focal point in the offense with over 300 combined touches. Surprisingly, Forte would have to wait until his fourth year in the league to be selected for the Pro Bowl. In 2011, Forte earned a reserve slot on the NFC Pro Bowl team after rushing for 997 yards and added 490 receiving yards.
Although the Bears as a team would finish at 8-8 in the 2013 season, that didn't stop Forte from continuing to rack up stats. The star RB showed off in a shootout with the Washington Redskins, rushing for 91 yards on just 16 attempts and scoring three touchdowns. Forte followed that performance with an even greater day at the office as he rushed for 125 yards along with 54 receiving yards in a win against the rival Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Forte would earn his second Pro Bowl nod in 2013 by putting up an astonishing 1,933 yards from scrimmage (1,339 rushing & 594 receiving) while scoring 12 total touchdowns.
Forte would continue to thrive in the Bears offense despite the team's overall struggles. This was no more evident than the 2014 season as the Marc Trestman-led Bears failed to move the ball on a consistent basis, leaving much of the passing targets to go straight to Forte. Not only would he lead the team in receptions, he would lead the team in rushing attempts by a large margin, 266 to 39 attempts from Jay Cutler, the team's starting quarterback. With 102 receptions in the season, Forte would set the record for most receptions by a running back in a single NFL season, a mark that still stands today.
It would be an emotional goodbye for Forte as he left the Chicago Bears in 2016 to sign with the New York Jets. Surrounded by a solid corps of running backs, Forte still proved to be a valuable asset to the team even after reaching the dreaded age 30 plateau for running backs. After retiring following the 2017 season, Forte and former teammate Devin Hester both signed one-day contracts with the Bears to officially retire as a Chicago Bear.
Forte's resume may not initially stand out in terms of Pro Bowls or MVP awards, but with impressive stats and consistently playing at such a high level over the course of his career, his greatness cannot be questioned.
That's why it makes perfect sense to take advantage of the opportunity to have a guaranteed opportunity to meet the former Bears star and grab an autographed item at a great value at our upcoming signing. For more information on the public signing (Lance Briggs will also be appearing), please check out Autograph Signings page.