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Veteran running back Matt Forte announced his retirement Wednesday after 10 seasons, clearing more cap space for the Jets in the run-up to a critical free agency period.

The 32-year-old Forte, hobbled by knee issues last season, opted to call it a career before the Jets would have parted ways with him. The Jets, who will clear an additional $3 million with Forte out of the mix, are expected to have more than $90 million of cap space, especially with Mo Wilkerson freeing up more money with his being cut.

Forte rushed for a career-low 381 yards last season. He had 1,194 rushing yards and 67 receptions for 556 yards in two seasons with the NY Jets.

Forte was one of the league’s best dual-threat backs in eight seasons with the Bears. The two-time Pro Bowler ran for 9,796 yards and 54 touchdowns, while also adding 4,672 receiving yards and 21 touchdown receptions during his career.


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As the minutes wound down on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and Bengals fans looked for the exits, the band of Bears fans that remained began waving navy-and-orange blankets and chanting, “Let’s go Bears!” Yea! Bears fans travel with their team.

Afterward, in the locker room, Bears players joked and laughed and threw out words such as “rewarding” and “relief.”

Sure, the 33-7 victory over the Bengals brought the Bears’ record this season to a measly 4-9. And yes, it came against a hobbled, five-win team.

But the Bears went 49 days between victories — and two years and 25 days since last topping the 30-point mark in a game — so they and their fans were starved for celebration.

“I don’t think it was just Mitch (Trubisky); I think we all needed it,” tight end Adam Shaheen said. “We’ve been struggling, lost a couple of close ones. This was a great win we needed. And it was against a good team.

“When everything was clicking, everybody was getting opportunities. When you’re rolling, it helps out everybody.”