Does this mean the Bears would be willing to part ways with Forte after this season?
No it certainly doesn’t. It means the Bears are adding insurance just in case Forte decides to leave after this season.
A No. 2 option wasn’t a high need, but the Bears were expected to add another back to the mix sometime soon.
Bush has rushed for 2,642 yards on 632 carries and 21 touchdowns in 61 games with the Oakland Raiders. He has also reeled-in 91 passes for 879 yards and one touchdown.
Last season, Bush excelled, appearing in all 16 games and making nine starts. He carried the ball 256 times for 977 yards and seven touchdowns.
He will be a great change-of-pace back, when Forte needs a breather. Plus Bush is a solid short- yardage back.
Bush was able to score seven touchdowns in goal-to-go downs.
Forte made it known that he felt disrespected by this signing earlier today on Twitter.
He has every right to be upset, but at the same time the Bears need to make moves at the position just in case Forte doesn’t ink a long-term deal.
GM Phil Emery has reiterated that the Bears are working on retaining Matt Forte for the long term.
Forte tweeted around 6 p.m. that “for the record I’m not mad at the signing of another running back. This is the 4th time that’s happened. I embrace competition as well as help.”
In his defense, the Bears have added Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor, Marion Barber and now Michael Bush over the last four off-seasons.
Taylor was guaranteed $7 million in his contract in 2010, Barber was guaranteed $2.5 million in his contract in 2011. And now Michael Bush is guaranteed $7 million in his contract in 2012.
The Bears have given plenty of money to backup running backs, but that doesn’t mean Forte isn’t the No.1 running back from here-on-out.
The short-yardage back was a need for the Bears after Chester Taylor and Marion Barber didn’t pan out these past two off-seasons.
Forte is a very dynamic back, who can catch and run out of the backfield effectively, but he isn’t the best in short-yardage situations.
The Bears have until July 16th to sign Forte to a long-term deal, but it’s been over a year and a half of contract talks. His agent and GM Phil Emery have said to been in contact about a deal.
Forte is said to be looking for $20-30 million in guaranteed money. He views himself as an elite back and rightfully so; but maybe the Bears don’t view him as that elite.
Bush’s contract shows the Bears are willing to add a solid back for slightly more than the average backup price. Bush is ready to split carries with Forte to keep him fresh.
Forte shouldn’t be too upset, he was just tendered for over $7 million, but at the same time he wants to be feel wanted. He feels under-appreciated, and he has ever right to.
But taking your complaints to Twitter is not the right way to discuss the situation. GM Phil Emery and him need to sit down and just reach a deal, and if it happens before July 16 everyone should be happy.
Bush’s signing doesn’t signal the end of the Matt Forte era in Chicago whatsoever.
The Bears now have over $15 million in guaranteed money buried in just the running back position, but that doesn’t mean anything about Forte’s future.
Here are some reasons why he stays in Chicago for the long-haul:
Reason #1: The Bears have built their offense around Matt Forte these past couple of seasons.
Reason #2: He is the best back since Walter Payton to take the field for the Bears
Reason #3: He is too valuable to let go at this point in his career.
Both the Bears and Matt Forte and his agent need to take a professional stand when it comes to a contract and just make it happen.
Forte doesn’t have much leverage at this point considering the Bears placed the tag on him. With the tag in place, if Forte chooses to sit out, he would lose the amount paid in each game that he sits out.
Look for the Bears and Forte to reach a deal prior to or after the NFL Draft next month.
If not, then the Bears could be looking at a holdout situation with him.