Reggie Bush: Breaking Down Latest Interest from Cardinals, Lions and More

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 10, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 30:  Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins catches a pass before a game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Star running back Reggie Bush will test the waters as an NFL free agent in 2013, after not having his contract rented with the Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Herald reports (per Adam H. Beasley and Armando Salguero) that Bush will not be returning to South Beach for the upcoming season, despite averaging over 1,000 rushing yards a season since joining the franchise. That means that a move is imminent from the running back—which will, no doubt, interest several teams in the league.

Read on to see all the latest interest from various teams in Bush, as well as their likelihood of landing the 28-year-old for the 2013 NFL season.

Detroit Lions

CBS Sports' Mike Freeman reports that the Detroit Lions are very interested in signing Bush for the upcoming season—so much so, they're using players to do the recruiting.

And regardless of whether the move to get the players in on the recruiting trail does and does not work, there's no denying that Detroit would be a good fit as running back. Simply for the fact, they do not have a go-to player in the backfield heading into 2013.

Mikel Leshoure, Joique Bell and Kevin Smith all shared the duties in 2012, with Jahvid Bell not returning from injury like many had expected. Their running attack suffered as a result (ranked 23rd in the league), with the fewest runs of 20-plus yards out of any team in the league.

Thus having Bush in the mix would be a a good move for Detroit, and according to NFL Network analyst Heath Evans (h/t Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press), it's one that makes sense.

But they’ll [Lions fans] forget Jahvid’s name if they’re able to sign Reggie Bush. People just don’t know. Until you see Reggie, even if you were at the Coliseum in his college days, you don’t have a true appreciation for how quick and explosive this kid is.

Scott Linehan, I think, would do a great job with Reggie just dreaming up concepts that Reggie would fall in love with and be thrilled to go to work with every day. And then come Sunday, Matthew (Stafford) has another toy at his exposure.

I don’t know what the future holds with Mikel and the other backs there, but Reggie’s a guy who knows how to study and he’s going to do things the right way. He’ll be a good influence as long as he’s still doing the things I trained him to do, which I think he is. He’d be a scary piece to add to that offense.

The Lions' interest in Bush seems to make a lot of sense from their point of view, and it could work well for the running back in return. However, the other questions are about whether he wants to go from the beach to the snow and come up against the likes of Clay Matthews in January.

Even still, Detroit is a very viable landing spot for Bush.

Atlanta Falcons

According to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons are being touted as a team that could well make a move for Bush come free agency.

Michael Turner is likely to leave the franchise come free agency and head somewhere else—leaving the NFC South champions with a hole at running back and the potential to fill it with a star back, like the former Dolphins man in question here.

However, this one, perhaps, doesn't seem as likely.

Like Yasinskas points out, Jacquizz Rodgers has nice speed and the ability to operate well outside the tackles (much like Bush) and doesn't have the injury history that the latter does. He's younger, already set in Atlanta and looks like being there for a lot longer still—making the need for Bush somewhat redundant.

The Falcons would be better served picking up someone who is different from Bush and Rodgers (either in the draft or in free agency). They need a power runner between the tackles like Turner provided, and Bush simply isn't the right guy to try and fill that need at the franchise.

Cincinnati Bengals

With plenty of money on hand and seemingly needing a backup for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the link between Cincinnati and Bush was fairly easy to make, according to Josh Kirkendall of SB Nation.

However, it's hard to see the Bengals pushing for the star here, and it's hard to see Bush wanting to come to the franchise either. Especially when he's coming up against the front seven of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland six times throughout the year—something few running backs would choose to do out of fun, when there are other options available.

Cedric Peerman was recently signed on a new contract as Green-Ellis' backup, which would seemingly end the need for another running back as backup.

Which, as a result, seemingly ends the notion of Bush to Cincinnati.

Arizona Cardinals

The final team on our list here, and one that's believed to be heavily interested in signing Bush is the Arizona Cardinals, who do need a new running back.

LaRod Stephens-Howling will likely hit the free-agency market in 2013, and with Beanie Wells not the future of the franchise as they had once thought, the Cardinals need a new running back to pick up some of the slack from their struggling quarterback play.

And according to USA Today, that could just mean a move for Bush.

The Arizona Cardinals are looking for more firepower on offense, and that could lead them to Reggie Bush. The team has contacted Bush's agent to show interest in the free-agent-to-be running back, according to a person with knowledge of the communication between the sides. 

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because neither side has commented publicly about the talks, said the Cardinals are one of a few teams in the mix for Bush, who seems destined to leave the Miami Dolphins after two seasons.

The biggest question about a move to Arizona for Bush will be that of the offensive line ahead of him with the ever-impressive defenses he'll come up against.

The Cardinals' offensive line simply was non-existent this season, and with a new quarterback likely to come into the frame, it must improve in 2013. Seattle and San Francisco in particular possess two of the most talented and deep defensive lines in the league and will likely have a field day with Bush, should he fail to get proper protection ahead of him in Arizona.

If they can fix that and assure Bush that he'll be treated well, a move to Arizona isn't completely out of the question. After all, there is a massive need for him, and with a struggling or new quarterback, he would likely see plenty of carries as well—which he'll be glad to have.

Detroit appears to be the favorite, but Arizona could make sense as well. The other two teams listed are seemingly pure speculation that won't come to fruition.

The Lions are my pick.

Where will Reggie Bush end up in 2013?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre



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