KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 24: Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs tackles Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders as Bush carries the ball upfield during the game on December 24, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Through the first week of free agency, Michael Bush and his fellow running backs on the open market saw themselves being passed over for other positions. Now that teams have filled other needs, we're starting to see the demand for some running backs picked up. As you know, Bush is in Cincinnati today visiting with the Bengals and to our knowledge, that is his first official visit to a team (the visit with the Cardinals hasn't been confirmed).
The Seahawks are also interested to bring him in for a visit, but don't have anything scheduled with him as of yet. Now we've learned that another team is interested in Bush's services and have a visit scheduled with him if he doesn't sign a contract with the Bengals in the next day or two.
The Chicago Bears have scheduled a visit with him set for this Wednesday in an effort to bolster their already strong rushing attack featuring Matt Forte. With Marion Barber fizzling out last season, the Bears are looking for a runner who can get tough yards to complement Forte's speed. Bush can also catch the ball well and that's a quality that the Bears already love in Forte. If they were to sign Bush, Chicago would have a large number of money invested in the position group.
It would seem that Bush's best spot for any semblance of a feature role would be with Cincinnati, given the team's hole at the position. With the Seahawks recent re-signing of Marshawn Lynch and the Bears franchising Forte, Bush would likely come into those places in a support role. In Cincinnati, he'd still be a part of a committee approach, but would likely be the main man.
The Bengals also would be in position to offer the back the most money of the three, if they so choose. Though they've signed three players in free agency thus far, they still have a large number of cap space to throw a considerable offer at Bush. And, as we've said before, Bush is from Louisville and is likely comfortable in the greater Cincinnati area. We still think that the Bengals are the favorites to land Bush, but they better make him a fair offer and not let him make these visits if they covet the back as much as we all think that they do. With Mike Tolbert signing a contract in Carolina, Bush's stock is rising and he'll be in more demand by the day.