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Matt Forte spent the past few weeks weighing his difficult decision – to continue a terrific playing career or walk away from the game he loves. On Wednesday Rick Nash Jersey , one of the NFL’s most versatile running backs carried the ball for the final time.
The 32-year-old Forte announced his retirement from playing after 10 NFL seasons in a humble and heartfelt statement to Sports Spectrum that he also sent on Twitter and Instagram.
”It’s time for the workhorse to finally rest in his stable,” Forte wrote.
He had one year remaining on his contract with the Jets, but knee issues during his two seasons in New York, as well as his age, made him a likely salary cap casualty this offseason.
Instead, Forte went out on his own terms.
”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.”
The move saves the Jets $3 million on their salary cap – the same amount if they had released him.
Forte’s 9,796 yards rushing rank him 33rd on the NFL’s career list. He also had 554 receptions, including setting the league record for running backs with 102 catches in 2014.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection’s 14,468 yards from scrimmage over the past 10 years are the most of any NFL player during that span.
Forte spent his first eight seasons with Chicago after being drafted in the second round out of Tulane in 2008. With the Bears, he established himself as one of the best all-around running backs in the league as an electrifying presence who could make plays running or catching the ball out of the backfield.
Forte ran for more than 1,000 yards in five of his eight seasons with Chicago, and caught at least 50 passes six times.
”The roar of the crowd at Soldier Field as I’d break a run or make a big catch,” Forte wrote, ”will forever be ingrained in my mind.”
He became a free agent after the 2015 season, and the Jets signed him to a three-year, $12 million contract.
Forte led New York with 813 yards rushing, but it was a career low for the running back who ended the season on injured reserve. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee at the end of the 2016 season to repair a torn meniscus.
Forte was ready for the season opener, but swelling in the knee worsened last November and Forte said he was ”basically playing on one leg” since. He ended up on injured reserve to end the season for the second straight year.
He had a career-low 381 yards rushing on just 103 carries last season and ran for two touchdowns Madison Bowey Jersey , and also had 37 catches for 293 yards – the second-lowest totals of his career – and one TD.
Forte said late last season that he had no intentions of calling it a career, despite saying he did not produce ”up to standards.” But he changed his mind during the past few weeks.
”While my heart is a bit heavy as I close this chapter of my life,” Forte wrote, ”I am excited about what the future holds.”
Forte thanked his parents, wife, agent, the Bears, the Jets and the fans in his statement. He called his career ”a miracle” and said playing in Chicago allowed him ”to live out my childhood dream in playing for the Bears.”
The announcement drew several messages of congratulations and best wishes on social media from current and former teammates with the Jets and Bears. Fellow running backs on other teams such as DeMarco Murray and Mark Ingram also tweeted about Forte,
Former Bears center Olin Kreutz, who played with Forte for three seasons, called him ”one of the best all-around backs of his era , if not the best.”
Added former Bears fullback Jason McKie : ”I knew you were special the 1st day you set foot in Halas Hall.”
Jets safety Jamal Adams, a rookie last season, called Forte “a true class act.”
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith, who had Forte in his backfield from 2008-12, said “few players embody all-around success better than him! Proud to be his coach.”
For the Jets, Forte’s decision opens a spot in the backfield. Bilal Powell led New York with a career-high 772 yards rushing and five touchdowns, and caught 23 passes for 170 yards. He is signed through next season and is expected back.
The Jets also have Elijah McGuire, who had 315 yards rushing and a touchdown in his rookie season after being drafted in the sixth round out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Jeremy Langford, Jahad Thomas, Akeem Judd are also on the roster Jordan Staal Jersey , but the Jets are likely to target a running back in free agency or in the draft in April.

— One of the great leaders football has seen, Ray Lewis used his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech to call for more enlightened leadership in the United States.
The last of the seven members of the class of 2018 on hand to be enshrined, Lewis eschewed notes and the lectern, instead strolling along the stage and passionately urging his listeners to come together.
“Are you living every day to make this world better?” Lewis asked Saturday night at the end of his 33-minute oratory, often invoking the teachings of Martin Luther King. “Think what we can do if we work together as a country … teaching our nation to love each other again.
“It’s how we react to the challenges in our life that shows our greatness. How do we execute that dream? Who will answer that knock on the door in the middle of the night? And it has to start right now. We need people willing to fight for what is good and what is right.”
Turning to the 140 Hall of Famers on the stage, he told them: “We can go from being legends to building a legacy bigger than football, bigger than sports. Look at what unites us … the answer is simple, love. Hope, faith and love, and the greatest is love.”
Lewis was joined by Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard as inductees at the hall ceremony.
One of the best linebackers in NFL history, Lewis won two Super Bowls with the Ravens; he often chanted “BALTIMORE!” during his speech.
“Tell me something can’t be done is like pouring lighter fluid on an open flame,” said Lewis, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who won a second Super Bowl for the 2012 season — coming back from a torn triceps — then retired. He was the MVP of the 2001 title game.
“I came back, and boy did I come back,” Lewis said. “When you walk off the last time with that thing, that Lombardi, it’s a confirmation I am living proof of the impossible.”
A first-year nominee Authentic Landon Collins Jersey , Lewis was selected 26th overall in the 1996 draft — what were other teams thinking? He wasn’t even Baltimore’s first choice: Jonathan Ogden was, and the big tackle made the Hall of Fame in 2013.
His impact was immediate, both on the field, in the locker room, and even in pregame introductions, when his “squirrel dance” fired up fans and teammates alike. He and Ogden even did a short version on the stage.
Lewis was the first player with 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in a career. An eight-time All-Pro and inside linebacker on the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team, he had a franchise-record 2,643 career tackles.
Dawkins also delivered a powerful speech and, as he promised, cried during it.
One of the hardest-hitting and most versatile safeties in NFL history, Dawkins stared at his bust and nodded his approval to the crowd.
“The majority of success I have had has come on the back end of pain,” he said noting he had suicidal thoughts when he battled depression. “On the other side of it, all of a sudden I became better. There’s a purpose for my pain.
“I have grown leaps and bounds because of the things I went through. For those going through this now, there is hope on the other side. Keep moving, keep pushing through.”
Dawkins was the leader of an Eagles defense that made four straight NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. Voted to the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team and a five-time All-Pro, Dawkins intercepted passes in 15 consecutive seasons and had 37 picks overall. He averaged nearly 100 tackles a year and spotlighted his versatility as the first player in NFL history to get a sack, interception, fumble recovery and touchdown catch (on a screen pass) in a game, against Houston in 2002.
Urlacher became a record-28th Chicago Bear inducted into the hall. A first-year nominee who filled the tradition of great middle linebackers in the Windy City so brilliantly, Urlacher actually was a safety at New Mexico. Chicago selected him ninth overall in the 2000 draft and immediately converted him to linebacker. He spent two weeks in training camp on the outside, then was moved inside — for 13 spectacular seasons.
“I love everything about football: the friendships http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/quincy-wilson-jersey , the coaches, the teachers, the challenges, the opportunity to excel. I loved going to work every day for 13 years,” said the 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2005 Defensive Player of the Year, a season in which Urlacher had 171 tackles.
The five-time All-Pro and member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team even did some work on special teams.
But it was in the heart of the defense where he shone.
“The most coveted position for a defensive player to play is middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears,” said Urlacher, who had to hold back tears several times. “Just think about it. I hope over my 13 seasons I made you Bears fans proud.”
Another first-year nominee, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Moss brought the perfect combination of height, speed, soft hands and agility to Minnesota as the 21st overall draft pick in 1998 after a rocky college career. His 69 receptions, 17 for touchdowns, and 1,313 yards helped the Vikings go 15-1 and earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
That was just the start for the eccentric but always dynamic Moss. When he finally hooked up with an elite quarterback, he caught a record 23 TD passes from Tom Brady in New England’s perfect 2007 regular season.
Moss rubbed the face and top of his bust, then delivered a sermon worthy of any church or synagogue. He paid tribute to his family, to the fans of his five teams, and to his roots in West Virginia Youth Chicago Bears Jerseys

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Mar 9 Oct - 02:23 (2018)
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