Matt Forte

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Matt Forte
refer to caption
Forte with the Bears in 2008
No. 22 New York Jets
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-12-10) December 10, 1985 (age 36)
Place of birth: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school: Slidell (LA)
College: Tulane
NFL draft: 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Rushing yards: 8,602
Average: 4.2
Rushing touchdowns: 45
Receptions: 487
Receiving yards: 4,116
Receiving touchdowns: 19
Player stats at

Matthew Garrett Forte (born December 10, 1985) is an American football running back for the New York Jets in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Tulane and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Forte established himself as a dual-threat running back who is capable of earning yards as a rusher and receiver. Forte spent eight years with the Bears before signing with the Jets in 2016.[1]

Early years

Forte grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, and graduated from Slidell High School in 2004, where he was a letterman in football and track & field. As a junior, he rushed for 1,057 rushing yards with 8 touchdowns, and caught 30 passes for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns. As a senior, he was named the St. Tammany Parish Player of the Year, District 5-5A Offensive MVP and received All-Metro selection accolades, as he gained 1375 yards with 23 touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 253 yards and a pair of scores. He totaled 2,432 rushing yards and 31 in his career while also catching 48 passes for 618 yards and five scores.[2]

Also a standout sprinter, Forte competed in track and had some of the better 100m and 200m times in the New Orleans area in 2003, with personal-bests of 10.68 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.10 seconds in the 200 meters.[3]

Name Home town High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Matt Forte
Running back
Slidell, Louisiana Slidell High School 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 4.5 Dec 15, 2003 
Scout: N/A   Rivals:2/5 stars   247Sports: N/A
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career

Forte played NCAA Division I college football at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, a member of Conference USA. Forte lettered for four years and played for 3 while pursuing a degree in finance. His junior year was cut short when he suffered an injury in the game against Marshall University. His standout season was his senior year, coming off a knee injury, Forte set several Tulane school records, including rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns. He had five 200+ yard rushing games and two 300+ yard games during the 2007 season. Forte was the only non-BCS athlete to be a semifinalist for both the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards and to make the Walter Camp Player of the Year List, and one of just 3 players nationally to be named to all three lists.

Senior Bowl

Forte garnered the most buzz at the 2008 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and walked away with the Overall MVP award. He led with 59 yards rushing on 8 carries; 4 receptions for 38 yards and a tackle on special teams.

Awards and honors

Professional career

2008 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 2 in 217 lb 4.44 s 1.49 s 2.55 s 4.23 s 6.84 s 33 in 9 ft 10 in 23 reps
All values from the 2008 NFL Combine[4]

Chicago Bears


The Chicago Bears drafted Forte in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft as the forty-fourth overall selection. He was originally drafted to compete with Cedric Benson and for the team's starting running back position. However, Benson was released from the Bears after struggling with legal issues, leaving Forte to compete with Adrian Peterson and second-year running back Garrett Wolfe. Forte made his regular season debut on September 7, 2008, against the Indianapolis Colts. He carried the ball 23 times for 123 yards (setting a franchise record for most yards gained in a running back debut) and scored his first career touchdown on a then-career long 50 yard run en route to a 29-13 victory over the Colts. His efforts earned him Sunday Night Football’s “Horse Trailer Player of the Game” award.

Forte takes a handoff from Kyle Orton while playing against the Carolina Panthers in September, 2008.

Forte became the first Chicago Bears running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in his rookie season since Anthony Thomas rushed for 1,183 yards in 2001. He would finish with 1,238 yards rushing on the year as well as finishing with 1,715 yards from scrimmage (Rushing and Receiving). This was good enough for third in the entire league and broke Hall of Famer Gale Sayers's former team record of 1,374 in 1965. Forte led all rookie running backs in total yards and receptions.[5] He received one vote for the National Football League Rookie of the Year Award, finishing behind Ryan Clady, Chris Johnson, and Matt Ryan.[6]


Forte attempts to escape from San Francisco 49ers safety Michael Lewis in 2009.

Forte recorded 271 yards over the first four games of the 2009 season.[7] He had his first big game of the season during Week 4, against the Detroit Lions, during which he rushed for 121 yards, and scored his first touchdown of the season.[7]


In 2010, Forte was backed up by fellow running back Chester Taylor. In a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Forte ran for an 89-yard touchdown, which would have been the longest run in Bears history if it had occurred during a regular season game. In Week 1 of the 2010 season, Forte had two receiving touchdowns, one of 89 and one of 28, the latter of which was the game-winner. Forte was named NFC offensive player of the week for Week 1. In Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Forte had touchdown runs of 18 and 68 yards, the latter a career long, on the way to 166 total rushing yards on the day. Forte was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week for this week.

In Week 11, during the season's first Thursday Night Football game, playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins, Forte rushed for 97 yards on 25 carries and scored the game's only touchdown on a 2-yard run in the 4th quarter as the Bears shutout the Dolphins, 16-0.


On October 2, 2011, Forte rushed for a career high 205 yards and 1 touchdown in the Week 4 match up against the Carolina Panthers. Entering the team's week 8 bye, Forte has rushed for 672 yards and has 38 receptions for 419 yards, leading the Chicago Bears in both categories. He also leads the NFL in total yards. In a November 7 game against the Eagles, Forte, along with Herschel Walker, became the only players to have 700 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in his first 4 seasons, and is the only player in NFL history to have at least 900 yards rushing and 400 yard receiving.[8] Forte sprained his MCL in a loss to the Chiefs, and was eventually placed on injured reserve. However, he was placed on the NFC squad for the 2012 Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, making him the first Bear running back to be named to the Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson in 1991.[9][10] In the game, Forte had 2 carries for 6 yards, and 1 catch for 4 yards.[11]

Forte during training camp in 2009.


On March 2, 2012, Forte was given the franchise tag by the Bears that is worth $7.74 million.[12][13] However, Forte has expressed his frustration and refused to sign the tender, which eventually led to the Bears signing Michael Bush.[14][15] Forte then considered a possibility of holding out until signing a long-term contract.[16] Forte skipped the team's organized team activity (OTA) workouts.[17] He agreed to a four-year, 32 million dollar deal.[13] In week two against the Green Bay Packers, Forte sustained an ankle injury when he was tackled by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson,[18] which the team considered a "high ankle sprain",[19] though the team later reported that it was not a high ankle sprain.[20] Forte was later ruled out for the Bears-St. Louis Rams game.[18] Forte eventually practiced on September 26, and played against the Dallas Cowboys.[21] Forte ended the year with a career-low 44 receptions for 340 yards.[22]


In week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Forté had a 55-yard run, and the following week against the Detroit Lions, had a 53-yard run, making him the first Bears running back to record runs of 50+ yards in back-to-back games since Raymont Harris in 1997.[23] Two weeks later against the New Orleans Saints, Forté passed Rick Casares to take third in the all-time leading rusher list with 5,702 career yards, behind Walter Payton and Neal Anderson.[24] In week 7 against the Washington Redskins, Forte scored three rushing touchdowns.[25] Against the Detroit Lions in week 10, Forté recorded 49 yards from scrimmage to bring his season total to 1,023, and became the first player in Bears history and 18th NFL player to record 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first sixth seasons.[26] On November 24, 2013, Forté accumulated the second most total career rushing yards in Bears franchise history, surpassing Neal Anderson.[27] On December 27, Forte was named to the 2014 Pro Bowl.[28] In the week 17 loss to Green Bay, Forte recorded his 20th 100-yard rushing game, tying Gale Sayers for the second-most in Bears history. Forte ended the 2013 season with a career-high nine rushing touchdowns along with 1,933 total yards from scrimmage, fifth-most in team history and the second-most behind Payton. Forte also had 1,339 rushing yards during the season, the ninth-most in franchise history.[25] Forte's 1,339 rushing yards ranked second in the NFL in 2013, while his all-purpose yards from 1,933 yards ranked 4th.[29] Following the regular season's conclusion, Forte was one of three finalists for the FedEx Ground Player of the Year Award,[30] but finished runner-up to LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles.[31]


In Week 17, Forte broke the single season record for most receptions by a running back with 102. This record was previously held by Larry Centers with 101 receptions. Forte also passed 1000 yards rushing for the third consecutive season, and for the fifth time in his career.


Playing in 13 games in 2015, Forte rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns, and caught 44 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

On February 12, 2016, Forte announced that the Bears were not going to attempt to re-sign him in free agency.[32] Ryan Pace, the Bears' general manager, later confirmed the Bears were not going to re-sign Forte. He praised Forte's contributions to the Bears by stating, "Matt is one of the all-time great Bears and did an excellent job for us on and off the field last season."[33]

New York Jets


On March 9, 2016 Forte signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the New York Jets.[34][35]

Career statistics


Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2008 Chicago Bears 16 16 316 1,238 3.9 50T 8 63 477 7.6 19 4 1 1
2009 Chicago Bears 16 16 258 929 3.6 61 4 57 471 8.3 37 0 6 3
2010 Chicago Bears 16 16 237 1,069 4.5 68T 6 51 547 10.7 89T 3 3 2
2011 Chicago Bears 12 12 203 997 4.9 46 3 52 490 9.4 56T 1 2 2
2012 Chicago Bears 15 15 248 1,094 4.4 46 5 44 340 7.7 47 1 2 1
2013 Chicago Bears 16 16 289 1,339 4.6 55 9 74 594 8.0 34 3 2 2
2014 Chicago Bears 16 16 266 1,038 3.9 32 6 102† 808 7.9 56 4 2 2
2015 Chicago Bears 13 13 218 898 4.1 27 4 44 389 8.8 38 3 2 1
Total 120 120 2,035 8,602 4.2 68 45 487 4,116 8.5 89 19 20 14

† NFL Record

Personal life

Forte married Danielle Daniels in August 2011. The couple has two children, Nala (born in 2013) and Matthew (born in 2015).[37][38] Forte and his family reside in Mettawa, Illinois.[39]

Forte is a Christian. Forte attends weekly team Bible studies and chapels.[40] Forte has spoken about his faith saying, "When people look at me, I don’t want them to just see football. I want my faith to speak for me and that it’s about more than that. It’s about reaching out to others and telling them about your faith."[41]

Forte earned a degree in Finance from Tulane University in May 2009.[42]

In his spare time, Forte enjoys playing video games, especially Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Halo 3 for the Xbox 360.[43] Forte was also the runner up in the 2008 Rookie Madden Bowl.[44]


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  40. "My Story".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Matt Forte's faith a top priority".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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External links