There had been an obvious disconnect between Bush and head coach Joe Philbin and the running back’s numbers had been declining with each passing week. Philbin refused to lean on Bush as the team went through a three game losing streak, instead choosing to expand the roles of other players on the team. Daniel Thomas, who is listed behind Bush on the team depth chart, was beginning to get more carries and rookie Lamar Miller looked like he was ready to step in as Miami’s finesse back. It became very easy to see Miami and Bush parting ways at the end of the season.
Bush has now put things into doubt.
Following Sunday’s win against the Seattle Seahawks, Bush told reporters he wanted to stay in Miami. He said he felt the team was on the right track and he wanted to help build the team into a Super Bowl champion–and he meant every word he said.
First, attention needs to be given to Bush wanting to stay in Miami in the first place.
One of the things he pointed out was how he did not want to bounce around from city to city, but it is doubtful this is a big enough reason to stay on a team that is not utilizing him properly. Bush must really be seeing something special coming together under the new Miami regime. His claim that he would rather stay here and be a part of the on-going project, despite being benched and losing touches, speaks volumes about what Philbin and his coaching staff are getting the players to believe.
Second, would Bush be willing to take less money to stay in South Beach?
Bush started the season out strong and looked like he was off to another career year as a Dolphin. An injury in Week 4 brought the rushing assault to a grinding halt. From that point on, up until last weekend, Bush had done very little to increase his stock heading into free agency. He broke out against the Seahawks, rushing for 87 yards and a score on just 14 carries against one of the leagues better rush defenses. What he does the rest of the season could greatly impact his worth when he hits the off-season, but even if he has career games the rest of the way, the way the Dolphins coaching staff has acted forces one to question how much they would be willing to pay to retain Bush’s services.
If Bush were willing to re-sign at a discounted rate, there is a good possibility he comes back in 2013. However, if he presses for a big payday, chances are he won’t get it from Miami.
Bush is easily the Dolphins’ most dangerous offensive threat. Keeping him around would go a long ways towards making the team a true contender and he consistently says all the right things. He has been a true team player during his tenure in Miami. Joe Philbin and the rest of the Dolphins organization would be fools to let Bush get away from them, especially if Bush is willing to accept a smaller paycheck.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.