Nov 27, 2011; Oakland CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush (29) walks in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at the Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Chicago Bears 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Bears Bolster Backfield with Michael Bush Signing

The Chicago Bears added another offensive weapon in free agency by signing former Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush to a 4-year deal worth $14 million with $7 million in guaranteed money.   It’s a steep price to pay for a backup, but Bush is far from the average back.  Bush had his best season as a pro last season with career highs in attempts (256), yards (977), touchdowns (7), receptions (37), receiving yards (418) and starts (9 while running alongside and filling in for Darren McFadden.

It’s the third time in three offseasons that the Bears have invested heavily in a backup running back. They still have about $1 million in bad Chester Taylor money on the books for this season not to mention still having Marion Barber in the fold.  The Bears should have left Barber in Denver last season, but expect them to follow through with cutting the free agent bust sooner rather than later.  More on how this affects the Bears and Matt Forte after the jump.

The biggest question surrounding the Bush signing is how if affects the Bears’ franchise player, Matt Forte.  First and foremost, the Bush signing provides valuable insurance in the unlikely event that Matt Forte decides to hold out.  I doubt it would happen given the kind of kid that Forte is and the impact on his wallet with the type of fines that could be levied.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Forte was less than happy about another backup running back coming in and getting a multi-year deal.  It’s tough to blame him, but it’s also important to realize that it’s not a matter of the Bears not wanting to give him a long-term deal (which they’ve tried), it’s a matter of coming up with a salary that will make him happy.  Clearly $14 million wasn’t enough to do that last season.

Expect Bush to play the thunder to Forte’s lightening.  It’s been well documented that Forte has been less than stellar in short yardage and around the goal line.  Bush will fill that role well.  Despite a brutal leg injury back in Louisville, Bush has been a tough and durable runner.

What do you think?  Did the Bears overpay for another backup?  Is this a good move or would you rather have seen them spend on a defensive end or offensive lineman?  Do you think Forte has the right to be pissed?  Do you think he’ll hold out?  Let’s hear your thoughts in the Comments.



Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

  • milkman

    great pick up!

  • Joey_C523

    & Piss Matt Forte in the process. Way to go Bears.

  • Mr.Pickles

    I’ve got really mixed feelings about this pickup.  I like Bush and thinks he’s about ten times better than Barber and Taylor combined.  One of my buddies is a huge Raider’s fan and was actually hoping they’d cut Mcfadden and lock up Bush long term.  On the other hand I don’t think this bodes well for keeping Forte in a Bears uniform long term.  I don’t share your optimism around a holdout.  I agree that Forte has a lot of integrity but I think signing a back-up before addressing his contract might be that proverbial final straw.  Talent-wise I think Bush competes to be the #1 on a lot of team, so money well spent at the end of the day.

  • Pingback: Running back Michael Bush joins Bears – | Amazing News

  • UCF_Bear

    Great pick-up.  I really like what Phil Emery is doing for depth at the skill positions.  Now let’s see what he brings us in the draft.  But again, Bush is a solid #2 with the “intangibles.”  And he’s another work horse.  I think after the draft, the Matt Forte situation will get settled because the Bears will have a clear idea of what money they’ll be spending.  Remember, we’re on of the best teams at getting all of our rookies signed and into camp.

  • TomTolbert

    This is a great signing, makin a nice thunder lightning combo in chicago.. well if forte can calm down. Ive written about this in my blog if u guys wanna check it out

  • deepsix

    This is a great pickup. Bush can grind the tough yards out. Forte is pretty bad when it comes to the 3rd and 1′s and 2′s. Everyone says “yeah but the line sucks”. It’s not that good but a lot of it was the product of a martz offense. I say trade forte and and grab another 2nd tier back. Just ask the last several SB teams how much they had invested in running backs and no way was it what forte is crying for.