As the latest Chicago Bears rumors continue to swirl, the team continues to make moves. While it’s being reported they’re currently looking to trade Julius Peppers, the Bears released running back Michael Bush, opening a hole behind Matt Forte on their depth chart. From a financial standpoint, cutting Bush makes sense, but Chicago definitely needs more depth at running back now, and that can be accomplished in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Bush was set to make $2.8 million and $3.5 million in salary over the next two seasons while counting $3.8 million and $4.6 million against the cap in 2014 and ’15. That’s a lot for a backup running back who really fell off production-wise in 2013. Considering Forte is as strong as ever and the Bears are also paying him a truckload over the next two seasons, it makes sense to bring in a young, inexpensive backup who could earn more playing time in the near future.
Tre Mason is the best running back in this year’s draft and is projected to be taken in the second round, along with Carlos Hyde and Ka’Deem Carey, although the latter two are highly overrated compared to the former. The Bears should be looking a little later than that, though, with youngsters like Tyler Gaffney in mind. The Stanford power runner is a projected fourth-round pick and his style would complement Forte’s perfectly for less money than Bush was taking from Chicago.
Cutting Bush was a smart move by the Bears and if they land the right backup in the draft, they could be sitting pretty atop the NFC North in 2014.