NFL Rumors: Michael Bush and the Raiders' Latest News

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IMarch 6, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the Detroit Lions at Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Much of the NFL news right now is revolving around Peyton Manning and the New Orleans Saints.

From a single franchise perspective, the Oakland Raiders, despite having just two draft picks, have some interesting news.

That said, here's the latest involving the Silver and Black.

Michael Huff

In an article by Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area, the Raiders may end up retaining safety Michael Huff:

[Dennis] Allen said last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. "The one thing I do know about Michael Huff is he's an extremely good athlete and he has skills athletically of a corner, and so that obviously would be an option for us.

Not to mention, Huff tweeted about a good meeting he had with coach Allen earlier in March.

Huff had an All-Pro season in 2010 with 94 tackles, three forced fumbles and three interceptions. Not having Nnamdi Asomugha in 2011 hurt. Oakland no longer had Stanford Routt either.

Considering Oakland's projected salary cap situation, it would be surprising to see him retained; however, he's a veteran that will lead in 2012 and get the Raiders defense back to where they need to be.

Michael Bush

According to Steve Corkran of The Oakland Tribune, the franchise tagging of Tyvon Branch may result in losing running back Michael Bush:

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Given his desire to be a No. 1 running back, not backing up Darren McFadden, it's now unlikely that Michael Bush will be back next season.

Bush has said in the past that he wants a chance to be a starter and realizes that won't happen in Oakland as long as McFadden is on the roster.

This comes as no surprise, especially after Bush accounted for almost 1,400 total yards and scored eight touchdowns last season.

There's no doubt that McFadden and Bush make arguably the NFL's best running back tandem, but Bush deserves a chance to be a No. 1 back, which won't be the case in Oakland.

Expect Bush to land somewhere such as Detroit or Washington—two franchises that must improve on the ground and Bush most certainly fits the mold.

Dennis Allen

ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 30:  New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis  Allen speaks to reporters during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson wh
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Because of his time spent as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2010, we have to expect that Dennis Allen will be approached by the NFL about "Bounty-Gate." Perhaps ESPN's Bill Williamson puts it best:

Unless more information comes out to the contrary, I will assume Allen was not part of it and he doesn’t deserve any discipline, scrutiny or criticism. Do I think Allen was aware of the bounty program? I guess it would be difficult for him not to be, but that doesn’t make him guilty.

All things considered and the fact that Allen is a defensive-minded coach, with Roger Goodell continuing to try to make pro football a safer game, it wouldn't be surprising to see that he gets questioned.

Which is unfortunate, because Allen proved to be a legit defensive coordinator in Denver last season and it's not like the Broncos were getting an obscure number of penalties per game.

Still, we can't underestimate Goodell and his approach to receive as much information as possible.

Tyvon Branch

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after he sacked Caleb Hanie #12 of the Chicago Bears at Coliseum on November 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Although Tyvon Branch was franchised by the Raiders, answering the why may clear up the skeptics. According to Len Pasquarelli of CBS Sports, former Raiders consultant, Ken Herock, stated:

"He was a guy they couldn't let go," longtime league personnel man Ken Herock, who served as one of the consultants to new Oakland owner Mark Davis, told The Sports Xchange. "The best player in their secondary, even if [some fans] didn't know about him."

So it seems the Raiders have a gem in the secondary and provided that Michael Huff remains, Oakland will make some significant strides heading into, and potentially through the 2012 season.

With 259 solo tackles the past three seasons, along with six sacks and three forced fumbles, Branch has that sure tackling attribute needed to make plays in the open field. At 6', 205 pounds, Branch has good size and if needed, could even play cornerback as a result of his ability.

Keep an eye on how Branch develops this offseason and performs in 2012. He has the potential to emerge as one of the NFL's top safeties.

John Rozum on Twitter.