Ravens relied on retiring RB Justin Forsett during a difficult time

Ravens running back Justin Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards during the 2014 season. Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Running back Justin Forsett, who announced his retirement Wednesday, will be labeled a journeyman after playing for six teams in nine NFL seasons.

The Baltimore Ravens, though, hold Forsett in higher regard than that.

In his two-plus seasons in Baltimore, Forsett will be remembered for his big role on and off the field for the Ravens during the Ray Rice scandal. After Rice was abruptly cut in September 2014 when a video of him hitting his future wife was released publicly, Forsett produced the fifth-most rushing yards in the NFL that season to help Baltimore to its only playoff season in the last four years.

In addition to leading the league in 20-yard runs, Forsett proved to be the perfect high-character player that the Ravens desperately needed amid one of the most tumultuous times in team history. He spent his bye week that year changing diapers and getting up early with his nearly 2-year-old son, Judah, so his wife could get a break. He even wrote a love song to her that he put on YouTube.

"He is one of the nicest guys I've ever met, whether you're talking about in the locker room or in life," tight end Owen Daniels, who has been Forsett's teammate with the Texans and Ravens, said in 2014.

Forsett's commitment to the community continued throughout his run in Baltimore. He volunteered to help flood victims in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before the Ravens' preseason game in New Orleans, and he coordinated an effort to donate $100,000 in body wipes and bottled water to Flint, Michigan.

Unfortunately for Forsett, he couldn't sustain the same level of play. He managed 739 yards rushing in his final 13 games for Baltimore, which led to his release last season.

Still, few players had a bigger impact on the Ravens in such a short period.

"Congrats to Justin Forsett on his outstanding football career," coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. "A Pro Bowl player and a Pro Bowl person. We were honored to have this outstanding and blessed man as a Raven. His success will continue, no doubt."