Running backs are known to have the shortest shelf life of all NFL players.
As Chris Wesseling astutely outlined in March, all but the very elite tailbacks are being paid like punters.
Bears star Matt Forte is one such elite back, well-versed in both the pass and run game. He's racked up 1,300-plus rushing yards and 74 catches last season, and even though he's entering his age-29 season, he has no plans of slowing down.
"I want to break the stereotype of old running backs going downhill," Forte said Saturday, via the Chicago Tribune. "This offseason I feel better than I have the past five or six offseasons. I got my rest and I know how to take care of my body now.
"Yeah, it is going to be harder and harder every year, but as long as you continue to have your set routine and stick to it, and a lot of prayer too, that helps a lot. Health is the main deal."
Running backs often hit a wall around age 30, and Forte has a lot of wear and tear on his body. Forte added to that toll with 289 rushes in 2013 (third in the league), along with 74 catches (third among running backs). Add it all up and he had the most touches in the NFL. That must change if the Tulane product wants to extend his career.
"It's hard to take Matt off the field, but for the best interests of the team we should take him off a little bit and get him rested," offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. "You say, 'Next drive we are going to take him out.' And you look at him on the sideline and he doesn't look tired, so it is hard to take him out."