Matt Forte feels disrespected by Bears’ signing of Michael Bush
BY SEAN JENSEN Twitter: @skjensen March 22, 2012 1:50PM
Matt Forte who is awaiting his own contract from the Bears, was not too pleased about them signing running back Michael Bush to a four-year deal, one that’s worth $14 million, including $7 million guaranteed. . | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: March 22, 2012 7:25PM
Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte wasn’t too thrilled about the Bears once again signing another player at his position.
On Thursday, the Bears announced the signing of Michael Bush to a four-year deal, one that’s worth $14 million, including $7 million guaranteed.
“There’s only so many times a man that has done everything he’s been asked to do can be disrespected!” Forte wrote on his Twitter account. “Guess the good guys do finish last.”
Bush was sympathetic to Matt Forte’s contract situation. But ultimately, Bush still decided Chicago was the best opportunity.
“I can understand where the guy is coming from. Everything they’ve asked, he’s done,” Bush said of Forte. “You want to be rewarded for your success. But that has nothing to do with me.
“I’m just glad I’m on this team.”
Earlier this month, the Bears placed the franchise tag on Forte, which means he will be paid $7.74 million — more than a $7 million raise from 2011. But it’s unclear exactly what sort of new contract Forte is seeking.
Based on recent signings of other running backs, Forte may be seeking a contract that averages at least $8 million a year. Former general manager Jerry Angelo was resistant to hand Forte a market-level contract, and his replacement, Phil Emery, apparently has taken a similar mindset.
Yet, the Bears have invested heavily at the position, paying plenty to secure backups. The previous three (Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor and Marion Barber) collected $13.3 million for four combined seasons.
What did the Bears get?
A combined 38 games — with just two starts — and 260 carries for 798 yards and nine touchdowns. That’s an average of 3.06 yards per carry.
Why keep paying backups big [money] every [year]? Crazy!” former Bears tight end — and current Carolina Panther — Greg Olsen Tweeted. “Matt deserves better.” A former fourth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, Bush had his best season in 2011, when he gained 977 rushing yards with Darren McFadden sidelined with an injury. Bush also scored seven touchdowns and posted 418 receiving yards.
Also weighing an opportunity with the Cincinnati Bengals, Bush picked the Bears, noting he was impressed with coach Lovie Smith and his assistant coaches.
He was complimentary of Forte.
“In the past, I’ve been waiting for my turn, to help my team. The rotation is going to be very good. He wants both us to make a lot of plays,” Bush said. “I think there’s enough carries to go around.”
Bush didn’t have a chance to get a starting job.
Clearly, though, Bush didn’t dismiss the fact that Forte could hold out. Forte showed up on time last year at training camp, although he considered sitting out a while. He’s not currently under contract, so he won’t be subject to fines. He can stay away from the team until Week 10 and still get credit for the 2012 season, but he would forfeit the pay checks from any games he misses.
“My job is to come here and play ball,” Bush said. “I’m just going to do what I do.”