There aren’t many players in recent NFL memory quite like Justin Forsett. The running back, who announced Wednesday that he is retiring, had but two seasons when he was a full-time starter and one Pro Bowl pick – and those came far closer to the end of his career than the beginning.
Forsett, 31, posted a statement on Sports Spectrum:
“It’s time. I’m officially announcing my retirement from the game that I love. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m grateful for every moment. My career has brought so many great people into my life, and I asked some of them to join me in saying goodbye.
“Against all odds, critics, and naysayers, I accomplished something great. Scouts measured my height and said I was too short. They measured my 40-yard dash and said I was too slow. They looked at my build and said I wouldn’t last. But they couldn’t measure my heart, my faith, and my perseverance.
“I am living proof that dreams come true and God answers prayers, and I thank God everyday for the opportunity to live out my dream.”
His statement was followed by a video with people like Gary Kubiak, who coached Forsett in Houston and Baltimore, current Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Christian rapper LeCrae, talking about Forsett’s career and character.
A seventh-round pick out of Cal in 2008, Forsett was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. But he wasn’t there long: Seattle waived him after the first regular-season game of his rookie year. Claimed by the Indianapolis Colts, Forsett was only in Indy for a month and appeared in three games before he was waived again. Seattle brought him back, initially signing the 5-foot-8 back to its practice squad.
He didn’t leave Seattle again until 2012.
Forsett was with Kubiak and the Texans in 2012, and Jacksonville in 2013. He was reunited with Kubiak in 2014, when Kubiak was offensive coordinator in Baltimore. That summer, as the Ray Rice situation exploded and the Ravens ultimately released Rice, Forsett got his opportunity.
He played in all 16 games and started 14, enjoying his only Pro Bowl season, totaling 1,266 yards and 5.4 yards per carry plus eight touchdowns; he added 44 catches for 263 yards.
The Ravens rewarded Forsett with a three-year, $9 million contract, and he went into 2015 as the starting back and was on pace for another 1,000-yard season when he suffered a season-ending broken arm in the 10th game of the year.