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Bears Sign Raiders RB Bush

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 22, 2012 5:20PM

Michael Bush
New Bears GM Phil Emery continues to make an offseason impact. The Bears signed Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush to a four year, $14 million contract today. $7 million is guaranteed.

Bush rushed for 977 yards last year for Oakland and found significant playing time filling in for the injured Darren McFadden. A fourth-round pick from Louisville, Bush was sidelined with a broken leg in his rookie season, but has missed only three games the past four seasons with injuries.

It's the third straight year the Bears have invested in a backup running back and provides the team with quality insurance at tailback should Matt Forte hold out when the team reports to training camp this summer. The Bears placed a franchise tag on Forte in the offseason and so far he has not signed the $7.742 million tender offer. Emery said last week the team is working to sign Forte. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement by July 16, Forte will have to play next season under the franchise tag.

Bush's signing means last year's backup, Marion Barber, is certainly gone. They also offered restricted free agent backup Kahlil Bell a contract. Emery's moves on offense—signing Bush and backup quarterback Jason Campbell, and trading for Miami wide receiver Brandon Marshall—indicate the Bears are interested in winning now, and that they'll likely focus on defense in next month's draft.