Michael Bush is finally in camp after signing his one-year tender. He will be paid $2.6 million for 2011 unless a long-term deal is worked out. If the Oakland Raiders are not able to get something done with Bush then he will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2011 season.
It is no secret that Bush wants to be a starter in this league. Every time he gets the opportunity to carry the load he usually puts up solid numbers. However, playing for the Oakland Raiders, you are always going to be No. 2 on game day as long as Darren McFadden is ready to go.
The way it is right now, I don't believe the Raiders are going to be able to offer Bush a deal that will convince him to stay.
If he becomes a UFA, I believe he is going to leave the Raiders for a starting position on another team. Since he won't be the No. 2 guy anymore he will likely get a bigger/longer deal from another team than what the Raiders will be able to offer.
Bush can start on a lot of teams right now if he was traded. Teams like the Packers, Redskins, Saints, Cardinals, Seahawks and Lions could use an upgrade at RB and I think Bush is better than all their starting RBs headed into this season.
If the Raiders don't have long-term plans on keeping him then they should get what they can while they have him under contract. If they don't get a long-term deal done before the trade deadline in Week 6 then they should seek a trade before they lose him without getting anything in return.
The Raiders lost Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller without getting any compensation. All they'll get is a couple of seventh-round compensatory picks in 2012.
Not a lot of teams reached out to Bush since the Raiders tendered him at the first-round level. Obviously, no team out there is going to give up a first-round pick for Bush and then have to give him a relatively large contract. If the Raiders lower their asking price they might be able to find a team willing to part with a second-round pick for his services.
The Raiders have a couple of young and talented RBs in rookie Taiwan Jones and Louis Rankin. If Bush were to get traded I think they would be able to provide the team with solid depth at the position.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Raiders have already traded their second- and fourth-round picks in 2012, so they need to figure out how to acquire some picks.
What do you think? What is the most the Raiders can expect to get for Michael Bush?