Former running back Matt Forte signs with Jets


Former Tulane running back Matt Forte was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2008 and entered free agency at the end of this season. Forte recently signed a two year, $12 million dollar contract with the New York Jets. 

Jake Brennan, Contributing Reporter

From Louisiana to Illinois and now packing his gear for New York, the most prominent former Tulane football player has signed a new contract and will soon be donning some new team colors.

At the opening of the NFL free agency period last Wednesday, Matt Forte, class of 2008, signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the New York Jets, keeping him under contract through 2018.

Forte came to Tulane in 2004 as a two-star recruit out of Slidell, Louisiana and came in full force making a name for himself with the Wave.

He was named to the Conference-USA All-Freshman team in his first year. His breakout season came in 2008, when he set a number of school records for the Green Wave, including rushing for 2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns, as well as being named the overall MVP of the Senior Bowl.

The Chicago Bears drafted Forte in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft, where he played for eight seasons, rushing for over 1,000 yards in five. Forte is regarded as one of the best running backs of the past decade and certainly one of the greatest Bears of all time. He ranks behind only Walter Payton in rushing yards with the franchise and since his first game in 2008, Forte leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 12,718.

Forte rushed for a career-low 898 yards, and missed three games due to a knee injury. Forte has only been on the sidelines for eight games in his career; his three-game absence in 2015 is the longest in his football tenure.

Running backs in the NFL rarely succeed past the age of 30 and Forte turns 31 this coming December. This singular fact is likely the reason that Forte did not receive a contract offer from the Bears and was forced to enter free agency.

The odds are not in Forte’s favor, but if Adrian Peterson is any indication, running backs in the modern era can certainly remain the workhorse of the offense into their thirties if they take care of themselves.

In New York, Forte will reunite with former Chicago Bear and star wideout, Brandon Marshall. With any luck, the duo will invigorate an offense that was statistically in the middle of the pack throughout the 2015 campaign.

Matt Forte may be nearly a decade removed from his days on the Green Wave, but he is poised to re-emerge with Gang Green in New York.

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