New Bears running back Michael Bush was sympathetic to Matt Forte's contract situation. But, ultimately, Bush still decided Chicago was the best opportunity for himself.
"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. But that has nothing to do with me.
"I'm just glad I'm on this team."
A former fourth-round pick of the Oakland Raiders, Bush had his best season in 2011, when he gained 977 rushing yards with Darren McFadden sidelined with an injury. Bush also scored seven touchdowns and posted 418 receiving yards.
Also weighing an opportunity with the Cincinnati Bengals, Bush picked the Bears, noting he was impressed with coach Lovie Smith and his assistant coaches.
He was complimentary of Forte.
"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."
Bush didn't have a chance to get a starting job. But, he still landed a more than respectable contract, a four-year deal worth up to $14 million, including half of that guaranteed.
Clearly, though, Bush didn't dismiss the fact that Forte could hold out. Forte showed up on time last year at training camp, although he considered sitting out a while. He's not currently under contract, so he won't be subject to fines. But, he does have a one-year, $7.74 million franchise tender from the Bears. He can stay away from the team until Week 10 and still get credit for the 2012 season, but he would forfeit the pay checks from any games he misses.
"My job is to come here and play ball," Bush said. "I'm just going to do what I do."