Matt Forte: Proof Michel Bush Made a Mistake Signing with Bears

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIMarch 23, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Chicago Bears at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Matt Forte was less than thrilled that the Chicago Bears signed running back Michael Bush.  The situation could prove awful for Bush.

The Bears made the mistake of handing a four-year, $14 million contract to Bush while they have reportedly made no progress on an extension for Forte. Then Bush let it leak that head coach Lovie Smith told him there would be a rotation at tailback instead of him coming in to serve as Forte's backup. 

That could irk Forte even more and it could create some competition between the two guys. If Forte's touches drop, so could his numbers, which, in turn, could lower the amount of money he will earn if and when he does sign a contract extension.

As things stand, Forte will play the 2012 season as the Bears' franchise tagged player. He will make $7.74 million, which is more than a $7 million raise over his 2011 salary. 

But Forte rightly feels disrespected that Chicago added someone else at his position before working on a contract for him. It's the fourth time the Bears have done that to him, as Kevin Jones, Chester Taylor and Marion Barber have all been brought on board previously.

It's not Bush's fault this happened, but it could be an uncomfortable situation to walk into. I'm not sure he expected a reaction like this when he agreed to the deal, but now he'll have to deal with it.

The reaction around the league has been almost uniformly supportive of Forte. He has been Chicago's most consistent offensive player since he entered the league in 2008, and he reached his first Pro Bowl in 2011 despite missing the season's final four games.

The battle between the Bears and Forte will certainly be a story all season long and Bush is firmly in the middle of that struggle.