NFL Free Agency: Why Michael Bush to the New England Patriots Makes Sense

Soven Bery@@realsovenberySenior Analyst IMarch 21, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Running back Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

To the dismay of this New England Patriots fan, BenJarvus Green-Ellis officially signed a three-year deal to become a Cincinnati Bengal. That means the Law Firm won't be back in the patriotic red, white and blue next season. 

His position will most likely be filled by Danny Woodhead, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. I have nothing against these players, but not one of them is cut out to be a feature back. Woodhead and Ridley can thrive when used correctly, but playing the role of a three-down back is not right for these athletes. 

Woodhead shined when he was used as a Robin to Green-Ellis' Batman, but he is not ready to dawn the mask of the Dark Knight. Ridley will see his production increase, but will face significant bumps in the road. Kevin Faulk will bring guidance as a veteran presence, but the 36-year-old is washed up. 

The New England Patriots running back position is officially in panic mode. 

Enter Michael Bush

The free-agent running back had 977 yards on 256 attempts and racked up seven touchdowns last season with the Oakland Raiders. Those numbers led the team after Darren McFadden went down. 

Bush has been hit with a slow market, and Cincinnati is presumably out of the running. However, he is getting interest from Chicago, Seattle and the New York Jets.

New England should also go after the ex-Raider. 

Bush would bring a dynamic running game to Foxborough. He is a power back, which is a rare commodity in New England, and the signing of a good running back would ease the pressure off Tom Brady

Last season, the passing game led the Pats to the Super Bowl. Brady and company went into a fistfight without any backup. The defense became the laughingstock of the league, while the running game slowly went nowhere. 

The Patriots were a one-trick pony, and that flaw finally caught up to them. Brady looked lethargic in the last few games of the postseason, and the receivers fell apart. Brady-to-Welker was brilliant all season, but it hit a snag in the big time. That's when the running game is supposed to bail out a quarterback, but the ground game was nowhere to be found for New England. 

Bush lowers the amount of yards Brady needs to produce all game long. This will conserve the star quarterback, thus allowing him to play at a higher level for a longer period of time.

But having a run game provides another gem, too. 

It takes the focus off Brady. Suddenly, Mario Williams will be confused about whether New England will run the ball or pass it. Suddenly, shutdown corner Darrelle Revis is not as big of a headache. Suddenly, Paul Soliai will think twice before blindly going after Brady. 

Of course, this all comes down to the quarterback. However, Bush gives the Patriots the best chance to win. That is why he needs to be in the famed red, white and blue come next season.