Detroit Lions Should Take a Long Look at Free Agent Reggie Bush
It looks more and more like Reggie Bush—former New Orleans Saint and soon-to-be former Miami Dolphin—will be hitting free agency this offseason.
He's definitely someone who should be a person of interest for the Detroit Lions.
We'll be talking about the state of the Lions a little later this week, and without a doubt a big part of that will be the cap space—or lack thereof.
The Lions don't have anything in the way of cap space right now (they are currently over the 2013 cap) so any free agency move will require copious amounts of trimming and juggling by the front office.
Put that aside for a minute (we'll get back to it shortly) and assume that if they want to clear space, they can.
Acquiring Reggie Bush isn't a cure all for their offensive issues, but it could be a start.
In his two seasons with the Dolphins, Bush had his two best years to date, with a career high 1,086 yards followed by a second total of 986 yards. That's on top of nearly 300 yards in back-to-back seasons for receiving yards as well.
Bush would most likely come in as a replacement for Joique Bell, who is a very solid back but not in Bush's league the last two seasons. Bell is currently an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, which means he's a free agent but can only sign with the Lions for pretty much whatever they offer because he has less than three years in the league.
Which, as a side note, really must suck in terms of leverage.
Bell can catch the ball well and has some speed for both off-tackle and edge runs, but Bush has more and is more dynamic in space.
Another thing Bush does that Bell does not—indeed, it appears no Lions player can—is catch punts and kicks.
While he hasn't done that role as much for Miami, Bush was a spectacular returner in New Orleans, and the Lions are in desperate straits in the return game.
That's two birds you're killing with one stone.
Mikel Leshoure is fine as a bruising back, who can run between the tackles as well as be dangerous when he gets to the second level, and he pairs well with Bell. He'd be even more effective with Bush though, and it is far more possible (and advantageous) to line both Leshoure and Bush up either in the backfield, or with Bush split wide, than it is Bell.
Let's also continue to assume that Jahvid Best is not coming back, as that's how reports paint it right now.
At the end of the day though, it comes back to cash and using it wisely.
For the last two seasons, Bush has had a base salary of $2.5 (2011) and $4.5 (2012) million per year. His bonuses were $1.25 per year, each year.
One can assume he would want about that same amount to sign with the Lions—perhaps slightly higher if they wanted him for just one season.
Again, if the Lions wanted to do this, I have no doubt they could find the room somehow. It's a real problem though, especially if there is more than one suitor for his services.
Bush would be a good addition to the roster, able to pair with Leshoure as well as solve the returner issues which plagued the Lions in 2012.
In the end, I don't expect it will happen because this is a team with a ridiculous amount of free agents. Something like 31 players are in some form of free agency, and even if half of them are never coming back (Jerome Harrison, Stefan Logan, Kevin Smith) or would be incredibly cheap, there are several offensive and defensive linemen, and defensive backs who the team will probably want back.
Looking at the roster as it stands, Bush would be a big help for this team and for that, the Lions should give him a long look.
At the end of the day though, I just cannot see how they make this work with so many players possibly leaving via free agency.
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