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.
And a byproduct of that signing, is current running back Matt Forte's perspective:
There's only so many times a man that has done everything he's been asked to do can be disrespected! Guess the GOOD GUYS do finish last....— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 22, 2012
To a certain extent, Forte has every right to feel disrespected. After all, he has averaged over 1,500 total yards through four seasons and scored 29 total touchdowns.
Had his 2011 season not been cut short, Forte would have had another 1,500-plus yard campaign. Not to mention, but the Bears would have made the postseason as they were 7-3 with a tiebreak win over Atlanta from Week 1.
Still, Forte does need to embrace the addition of Michael Bush; because not only is he a great complement, but Bush has shown class from the situation. As quoted by Sean Jenson from the Sun-Times article sourced above:
"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."
"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.”
So, with the new guy coming in and simply wanting to get to work and get things done, Forte sits idle on the side feeling "disrespected."
When you think grind it out at the end of a game, you don’t exactly think Forte.
He’s no Adrian Peterson; he’s not even Chris Johnson.
This isn’t a shut-up-and-play moment for Forte. It’s more of a shut-up-and-prove-you-deserve-elite-running-back-money moment.
And regardless of what happens with Forte, the Bears have a dual-threat back in Bush. Last season, when taking over for Darren McFadden halfway through the year, Bush accounted for almost 1,400 total yards and scored eight total touchdowns.
Do you feel Matt Forte has been disrespected?
In the final 10 games, Bush totaled over 1,100 yards and emerged as one of the NFL's better dual-threat backs. Forte just needs to realize the help that now surrounds him in Chicago's offense.
Provided that Forte swallows his pride for the betterment of the team, Chicago has legit NFC title odds. No one else in the NFC North will have as versatile and dynamic of a running game and the Bears would be a multidimensional offense.
All Green Bay and Detroit can really do is air it out and the Vikings remain a few steps behind everyone. The Bears, however, have important pieces in play to make a run in 2012 and Forte only makes them that much more dangerous and difficult to beat.
And despite the NFL being a business at its core, isn't winning or—at the very least—putting oneself in the best position to win a Super Bowl the goal?
John Rozum on Twitter.