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Bears Sign Running Back Michael Bush

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    NEWSLETTERS

    SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Running back Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    Matt Forte will have some help (and competition) during the 2012 season. The Bears announced Thursday that they had signed free agent running back Michael Bush to a four-year deal, reportedly worth $14 million, with $7 million guaranteed.

    In four years with the Oakland Raiders, Bush averaged 43.3 yards per game.

    But with each season, his production increased and his tendency to fumble decreased. At 6-foot-1, 245 lbs., he can help Chicago in short yardage situations. Four years is a long term for a running back, but Bush has primarily plated a backup role thorughout his career.

    Bush's signing will also prepare the Bears for life without Forte, in case he isn't signed to a long-term contract. Forte produced just under 46.2 percent of the Bears' yardage in 2011, so Bush would have to go a long way to be that integral to the offense. However, Chicago will have an easier time letting Forte go if Bush is successful.

    It wouldn't be difficult to for Bush to be more successful than previous back-ups to Forte. Chester Taylor, who was paid $7 million in 2010, averaged 16.7 yards per game. Though Marion Barber did a better job, his huge mental errors in the loss to Denver will not be forgotten by Bears brass or fans any time soon.

    Now, Chicago suddenly has a high-powered offense. With the trade for Brandon Marshall and the signing of Eric Weems and Bush, Chicago has more offensive weapons than they know what to do