NFL Free Agency: Should the St Louis Rams Consider Signing RB Reggie Bush?

Ethan NovakAnalyst IIMay 4, 2011

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 15: Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints carries the ball during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With the St Louis Rams on the rise, their attention must sway from finding big pieces of an offense to finding the role players who, when used correctly, are just as important as the starters. 

With the free agency period hopefully coming soon, one role the Rams must fill is that of backup RB.

Steven Jackson is a top five running back in football and an absolute force for the St Louis Rams offense, but the depth behind him lacks any sort of playmaking ability.

Kenneth Darby was unspectacular last season, providing 107 yards of rushing on 34 carries with two touchdowns.  His performance was good enough that it didn't hurt the team but, at the same time, the Rams would prefer to have a playmaker who could be effective whilst giving Jackson much-needed rests. 

Insert Reggie Bush?

Ever since Bush was drafted second overall in the 2006 NFL draft, he has failed to establish himself as being capable of carrying the workload of a starter and he appears to be on his way out in New Orleans.

He has had problems with injuries, his most recent one being a freak knee accident on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers.  He hasn't played in all 16 games since his rookie season and has missed a total of twenty games since being drafted. 

That being said, his upside could be worth the risk.

Bush has shown tremendous ability as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, racking up 2,142 receiving yards in his young career.

In terms of being a true running back, Bush will be as effective as Kenneth Darby in a worst-case scenario.  He doesn't provide much in between the tackles, but his ability to bounce plays outside for big gains is enticing. 

During his last healthy season in 2009, Bush averaged 5.6 ypc and finished with 390 yards.  It's a very small sample size, but it shows Bush still has some of that explosiveness that everyone fell in love with when he was in college.

On paper, he actually fits in beautifully with the Rams.  Josh McDaniels likes to spread the ball to runningbacks via the passing game, which drastically plays into Bush's skill set.

Bush is a nice compliment to Steven Jackson as well.  His quick, elusive style of play is a magnificent contrast to the physical foundation of Jackson's game.  Just imagine it—Jackson wears down a defense for three and a half quarters, then insert the speedy Bush.  It makes the Rams far more dangerous than having Kenneth Darby or Keith Toston take the ball after Jackson.

His price tag shouldn't be too bad and there is no guarantee he will find his way out of New Orleans (although he has shown signs of his relationship with the Saints being over via twitter).  But, if everything aligns, Bush could be a nice addition to the St Louis Rams.