5 NFL Teams Who Should Pursue Reggie Bush This Offseason
Once the dust has settled from Super Bowl XLVII this weekend and the NFL has crowned its champion for the 2012 season, teams will get a very short respite before things get rolling yet again and the 2013 season gets underway.
That season begins with free agency, and one of the players who will apparently be shopping for a new home is running back Reggie Bush of the Miami Dolphins.
Despite the fact that the 27-year-old has topped 1,200 total yards in each of the past two seasons the Dolphins aren't believed to be interested in bringing Bush back, with Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reporting that it's "highly unlikely" that Bush is in Miami in 2013.
If that's indeed the case, then here's a look at a handful of teams who should reach out to the seventh-year pro.
Not a whole lot went right for the Arizona Cardinals in 2012, and that included the running game, which ranked dead last in the NFL at just over 75 yards a game.
Both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams were injured for significant portions of the season, and LaRod Stephens-Howling is much more a change-of-pace back and return specialist than offensive centerpiece.
Williams has shown zero ability to stay healthy and Wells told ESPN in December that he expects to be released, which opens a big hole in the Cardinals' backfield that Bush would fill nicely.
The Atlanta Falcons enjoyed a very successful 2012 season, advancing to within one game of the Super Bowl.
However, one area where the Atlanta offense struggled was in running the football, where the Falcons ranked 29th in the league.
Michael Turner is set to make $5.5 million in 2013 and is a candidate for release, and while Jacquizz Rodgers has shown some flashes, he hasn't shown anything to indicate that he's a 20-carries-a-game running back.
In Bush, the Falcons could have a combination of Turner and Rodgers as a player that's more capable of doing damage between the tackles than Rodgers, but who is much more adept in the passing game than the plodding Turner.
For many years, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a team known for pounding away with the football, but over recent years, the style of the Pittsburgh offense has changed.
Perhaps it's time for the type of tailback the Steelers employ to change as well.
The Steelers ranked a moribund 26th in the National Football League in rushing in 2012, and with Jonathan Dwyer (RFA), Isaac Redman (RFA) and Rashard Mendenhall (UFA) all scheduled to hit free agency, the Pittsburgh backfield is very much in flux right now.
Reggie Bush is the top free-agent running back on this year's market, and Bush's ability as a receiver out of the backfield would mesh nicely with a Steelers' offense that has become more of a passing team the past few years.
After winning 10 games and advancing to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade in 2011, the Detroit Lions backslid badly in 2012, winning only four games.
Part of the Lions' issues were in a running game that ranked 23rd in the NFL, and while the team did manage to barely average 100 yards a game, starter Mikel Leshoure picked up a dismal 3.7 yards per carry.
When the Detroit Lions were at their best offensively in 2011, it was with Jahvid Best in the backfield, a capable receiver with the ability to turn screen passes into long gains.
Reggie Bush may not be as explosive, but he's just that sort of running back.
Green Bay Packers
Of all the teams on this list, this is the one that should give other NFL clubs heartburn, because the Green Bay Packers' offense could be scary with Reggie Bush in the backfield.
Not that the Green Bay offense wasn't formidable in its own right in 2012, but the running game had little to do with that, ranking a pedestrian 20th in the NFL.
The variation of the West Coast offense that the Packers run is tailor made for a back like Bush, and his skills as a receiver would add a whole new dimension to the Green Bay attack.
The Packers get their running back, and Bush gets the chance to play for a Super Bowl contender.
Make the numbers work and this is a win-win.