Jets Brought the Strength
Among his other suitors, Forté mentioned the Buccaneers, the Cowboys, the Packers and the Patriots. He defined the interest from the Packers and the Patriots as minor. "I had a few interests from other teams, but the Jets were the strongest interest throughout the whole process. And just being able to be comfortable on a new team, in a new locker room and having some former teammates there that I know in Kellen Davis (UFA) and Brandon Marshall… I envision myself in this offense with this team (that) has a great defense and running the ball and being able to throw the ball to the big receivers on the outside. I felt like it would be a good fit for me."
The Perfect Fit
Attending a Pro Athletes Outreach convention a few weeks back in Denver, CO, Forté ran into Brandon Marshall.
"He was kind of asking me who was talking to me and stuff like that and who I thought was going to be talking to me. So he gave me the whole rundown of the team and why I would be a good fit and all that stuff. At that time, I didn't really think the Jets would actually be the frontrunner. But as we got closer and closer, I started thinking about how it would actually be a good fit and how they were talking to my agent when free agency came. It ended up being the perfect fit for me."
Clean Bill of Health
Over his eight seasons with the Bears, Forté missed only eight games. The versatile back was forced to the sideline for three contests last season with a knee ailment, but he said today there are no lingering issues.
"I feel really healthy and actually after the season, I took off probably three weeks and was feeling really good after those three weeks. It usually takes almost two months to really feel good after the season. So feeling healthier earlier after the season this year, so I'm excited about coming up to the Jets – a new team – and getting ready to go to work."
Sometimes friends and colleagues air out their grievances. Such was the case last spring when Marshall exited Chicago with some critical comments and Forté responded in kind.
"I'm going to hold him accountable and he's going to hold me accountable. So we try to do that for each other not only as players, but as friends. And that's the best kind of friendship you can have is to be transparent with each other and be honest, so that everything's out on the table."