The Miami Dolphins apparently aren’t interested in retaining the services of running back Reggie Bush. There are a few NFL teams who look at the Dolphins’ loss as their possible gain. The seven-year veteran looks to become the target of a bidding war, and frankly, it’s not surprising to this writer.
Bush posted numbers in Miami that more closely resembled what the New Orleans Saints thought they were going to get when they drafted him out of USC in 2006, rushing for over 2000 yards in two seasons with the Dolphins. But for what will most certainly boil down to business and financial reasons, the Dolphins are content to go another direction in their backfield.
This leaves the market open, and teams who have a need for a multipurpose back are just licking their chops.
Of the numerous teams that have been mentioned in connection with Bush, the most likely landing spots could be with the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, or dark horse in the Bush derby, the Arizona Cardinals.
The Falcons will have an immediate need with the expected release of Michael Turner. Atlanta offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has to be having visions of Bush heartily integrated into his screen pass heavy offense, and it would seem a perfect fit. The only problem for the Falcons could be money. Depending on the size of the contract extension Atlanta is likely to give QB Matt Ryan, and whether or not other players are re-signed (or will restructure their contracts) will weigh heavily into the Falcons ability to even afford Bush.
The Lions would look to be the favorite to land Bush right now. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press stated that “The Lions’ interest in Reggie Bush is real. Who knows what happens with Bush at the end of the day, but plenty of NFL people at the combine believe the Lions will make Bush a primary target in free agency.”
It would only make sense. The Lions need some stability in the backfield to take some of the pressure off of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, and to keep them from being the one-dimensional team they were in 2012. But again, the Lions financially crippled themselves with the mega-deal they gave to Megatron in 2012, so it will take some real financial wizardry to figure out how to pay a back like Bush.
The sticking point with Bush and the Dolphins has been money, as he’s coming off a contract that was paying him $4.5 million per season and is expecting to be paid even more based on his performance. This is precisely why teams like Detroit and Atlanta who actually need and could use Bush might find themselves backing away before too long.
In a seven-year NFL career, Bush has rushed for 4,162 yards on 967 carries, with 29 rushing touchdowns, as well as catching 372 passes for 2,730 yards and 15 touchdowns.