Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 3/22/12

Prior to suffering a knee injury late in the season last year, Matt Forte was arguably the most valuable running back in the league. The Bears ran their entire offense through him, and he was one of the only pieces keeping them afloat. To Forte’s credit, he expressed some frustration with the team over his lack of contract discussions but remained relatively quiet and continued to work. When he suffered a season-ending knee injury, we were reminded of why players hate the franchise tag and hate playing out a contract year.

Back in October, Forte said he wasn’t looking forward to the Bears using the franchise tag on him. As soon as the offseason began, that’s exactly what they did. Then on Thursday, Chicago agreed to a four-year, $14 million deal with free agent Michael Bush. Judging by the tweet he sent out Thursday afternoon, it appears Forte is not pleased with the move.

As far as insurance policies are concerned, Bush is as good as it gets. When Darren McFadden went down last season, Bush quickly became one of the best backs in the league. If Forte holds out and refuses to sign the franchise tender, Bush can certainly shoulder the load. If Chicago can’t come to a long-term agreement with Forte and chooses to franchise tag him again next season, they still have Bush. Simply put, Forte has no leverage. I wouldn’t be thrilled about it either.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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