Forte was already unhappy with his franchise tag and lack of a long-term contract when Bush was brought in as insurance.
Well, they say insurance—Forte saw it as a shot across the bow.
It's hard to say how Forte will play this—on the one hand, a tag is worth a ton of money. On the other, every year he plays under it, he risks injury before he can get a big payday—and that payday gets further away as teams are hesitant to pay a back—and moreso the older he gets.
Let's assume though, that Forte shows up. This could be the camp battle to watch for the whole league. Both backs are purported to be getting carries in the coming season. However, I'd imagine that the split might not be all that even if they just paid Bush with the money Forte wants.
This won't get ugly between the backs on a personal level, but it will be ugly on the field and possibly in the front office.
Winner: Matt Forte
After his rookie season, many people said that despite his numbers, Forte wasn't an elite back.
He proceeded to run with an immense chip on his shoulder and prove us all wrong. You think that chip was big? I think the one he'll have in camp will be as big as the whole state of Illinois—which could be good for the offense.
As much as I like Bush—and I do—he's not quite as good as Forte.
Of course, this changes if Forte holds out, but as of now, I think he'll come in for July. If the Bears are smart, they'll find a way to make it worth his while.