Michael Bush signs four-year, $14M deal with Bears, Matt Forte not happy

Bush didn't blow up against the Bears in 2011, but he won't have to run against their defense again. (Getty Images)
It's been a particularly soft market for running backs, and the top one on our list, Michael Bush, finally found a home: the Chicago Bears announced they reached a four-year deal with Bush on Thursday.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (and confirmed elsewhere), the deal is worth $14 million. Frankly, that's a steal, even if it's for a guy who will now serve as the backup for Matt Forte, who was given the franchise tag this offseason.

In four years with the Raiders, Bush has carried the ball 632 times for 2,642 yards, 21 touchdowns and a 4.1 YPC average. He also has 91 catches for 879 yards in that span.

It's a very nice signing for the Bears, whose running game struggled in 2011 after Forte went out with an injury. In fact, backup Marion Barber (who is likely to get cut) created one of the more "memorable" NFL moments of last season when he ran out of bounds during regulation and fumbled in overtime to let the Broncos steal a win in Chicago during the height of Tebowmania.

Additionally, Forte wants to get paid, and Bush provides very nice, non-aggressive leverage when the Bears start talking with him about a longer contract. If Forte refuses to take a big paycut, the Bears could even conceivably let him walk after the franchise year and allow Bush to take over as the full-time back.

Forte obviously sees the Bush signing as the Bears not-so-subtley addressing his contract status, or else he wouldn't have tweeted ... this:
Hoo boy. It was always thought that a new Bears front office might be able to make more headway with Forte on a potential contract signing that the last regime. But that certainly doesn't appear to be the case.
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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