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Jets coach: Ex-Bears RB Matt Forte has more ‘left in the tank’

The Jets believe in former Bears running back Matt Forte. (AP)

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Like the Bears, the Jets want to get younger as a team. But Jets coach Todd Bowles said good football players are just that regardless of age.

That’s why the Jets signed former Bears running back Matt Forte, who turned 30 in December, to a three-year contract worth $9 million guaranteed in free agency.

The Bears will lean on Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey, but still pursued Broncos running back C.J. Anderson in free agency.

“You want to get younger, but at the same time, you want good football players,” Bowles said Tuesday during the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings. “That ’30,’ as you say, it’s not an old age if you’re a good football player [and] if you’ve been in the league some years and you know how to take care of your body and those things like that.”

Forte missed three games last season with a sprained knee ligament, but his work habits were highly regarded at Halas Hall. He’s widely known as a fitness freak.

Despite missing time, Forte still finished last season with 1,287 total yards and seven touchdowns. He’s one of five players in NFL history to have 1,200-plus yards from scrimmage in each of his first eight seasons.

“You don’t look at the team,” Bowles said. “You look at what the guy has left in the tank and see what he was doing before he got injured and what he’s done over the past few years. It was our estimation that he’s still pretty good running back. That’s why we signed him.”

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com