In an expected move to save some cap space, the Bears released running back Michael Bush.
Bush, 29, was slotted to make a base salary of $2.8 million this season. The Bears save $1.85 million, but will have $2 million of dead money because of his signing bonuses for 2014 and ’15.
In 2013, Bush had 63 carries for 197 yards, a paltry rushing average of 3.1 yards a carry. He had three touchdowns as well as four catches for 48 yards.
Bush was not effective in short-yardage last season. In seven carries on 3rd or 4th and 0-2 yards, Bush had zero yards and one touchdown.
In 2012, Bush had 411 rushing yards and five touchdowns, playing in 23.7 percent of the snaps. In 2013, he played in only 13.1 percent of offensive snaps.
Here’s what Marc Trestman said about Bush when asked about the No. 2 back at the Combine:
“I think, number one, it was very difficult to take Matt off the field, and it was very impressive that he had the endurance to do what he did this year. There were times that we just felt we had a plan to play Michael more, the defense may have been on the field, and Matt had a good enough rest so we kept Matt out there and didn’t get Michael on as much as we would’ve liked to. We had a plan but we didn’t execute it.”
Trestman has said he wants to utilize two running backs in his offense. The Bears currently only have Michael Ford under contract at the position for 2014, along with Forte. Ford, an undrafted rookie last season, does not have an NFL carry. Look for the Bears to address the need in free agency and/or the draft.