Every football fan knows that the foundation of a good offense is having a good running game. The Chicago Bears have one of the very best in the business in Matt Forte. Forte was drafted in the second round in the 2008 NFL draft. He was drafted to compete for the starting job with then starting running back Cedric Benson. During the offseason, Benson had a difficult time staying on the right side of the law and was released before training camp began.
Forte earned the starting job that year and has not looked back since then. He set Bears rookie records with 1,238 rushing yards and 477 receiving yards. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 50 yard run against the defending Super Bowl champions the Indianapolis Colts. Forte finished his rookie campaign third in the rookie of the year voting.
Over the next 2 seasons Forte surpassed the 1,000 yard barrier, and had over 500 yards receiving in both seasons. Forte became the only player in NFL history to tally over 900 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving in his first 4 seasons.
Despite sustaining a knee injury that forced him to miss 4 games in 2011, Forte still managed to rush for 929 yards and be named to his first of 2 Pro-Bowl’s. After the 2011 season, the rookie contract that Forte was playing under expired, and he wanted to be paid as one of the top 10 running backs in the league. The Bears waivered citing his recent injury history, the Bears wanted to franchise Forte, which would have resulted in being paid $7.75 million dollars. Forte refused to sign the offer sheet, and held out of training camp for a multi-year deal. The Bears, realizing the type of talent they had on their hands, finally budged and Forte signed a 4 year 32 million dollar deal.
The investment has paid off for both sides, as Forte has stayed injury free, and was second in the league last season with 1,339 yards rushing. He has thrived in the new offense that Coach Trestman has installed, and is now an important part of a record shattering offense that will only get better in year two.