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NFL Free Agency: Who wants Bush?

Reggie Bush Free Agency
Team Stake

Fantasy Stock[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ho is Reggie Bush? That is the question GM’s will try to answer before NFL free agency begins on March 12th. Is Bush “a bell-cow back” or is he a great complementary back? Is Bush a multi-dimensional threat to score every time he touches the ball or is he a 28 year old running back whose best days are behind him? When teams look to add players in free agency they look for a bargain. Bush may offer teams depth at running back, but what kind of price tag will he come with? NFL teams want to control the amount they spend in free agency, unless the time to win is now. What does Reggie Bush want? Let’s look to rock and roll for help.

  1. Pink Floyd says it may be “Money”. Bush may only play for the highest bidder when free agency begins at 4pm on March 12th. This is his first time on the free agent market, and at that age of 28, Bush may be looking for a nice payday, in what could be may be his final contract.
  2. Queen says “We are the Champions”. Playing for a team that can win a championship now may be able to get Bush at a bargain price. If Bush is looking to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the next few years a bargain price from a competitive team may be Bush’s next destination.
  3. Motley Crue says “Home Sweet Home”. Reggie Bush played high school and collegiate football in Southern California. There may be interest from a couple of teams on the west coast. Those teams may have some leverage if Bush is looking to get back home.

Market Value

Reggie Bush Fantasy FootballThe market value of a running back has changed a lot in the last few years. In a pass heavy NFL, teams are not looking to put a big price tag on running backs. The market value is often determined by the NFL draft pool and free agents available. The 2013 NFL draft has some running backs that are potential starters in the league. With the lack of upper tier talent in the draft many teams may look at free agency as an opportunity to add depth or potentially a starter to their backfield. There are a few free agents that have the ability to start in other locations along with some nice change of pace talent. The free agent pool of running backs includes (ages in parentheses): Ahmad Bradshaw (26), Steven Jackson (29), Rashard Mendenhall (25), Felix Jones (25), LaRod Stevens-Howlings (25), Danny Woodhead (28), and Michael Turner (31) just to name a few. Bush would be 28 heading into the season. The Detroit Free Press reported Bush will be set to make about 5 million a year.
Career of Reggie Bush

Career of Reggie Bush 

Year TM/GM Rush YDS Rush TD Rec Rec YDS TD Fantasy Points (Non PPR) Fantasy Rank (Non PPR)
2012 MIA/16 986 6 35 292 2 176 14
2011 MIA/15 1086 6 43 296 1 180 13
2010 NO/8 150 0 34 208 1 42 67
2009 NO/14 390 5 47 335 3 121 36
2008 NO/10 404 2 52 440 4 120 36
2007 NO/12 581 4 73 417 2 136 24
2006 NO/16 564 6 88 742 2 177 17
Career 91 4161 29 372 2730 15

With this being Reggie Bush’s third contract it is likely to be lower than 5 million. Couple that with the idea that he may be willing to take less depending on Bush’s idea of the ideal team. There are many contenders that are looking to add a running back in free agency. With the current crop of running back talent, Bush looks to be one of the highest touted free agents in the running back free agent class of 2013. Based on the statistics Reggie Bush is a solid RB2 when healthy and in PPR leagues his upside is higher. When Bush has played in 15 games or more in a season, he always ranked in the top 20RB either as a complementary back (New Orleans) or as the “cowbell” (Miami). Fantasy owners should consider Bush’s value will change depending on where he lands. That leads me to my next question, who wants Bush?

Teams that may add Bush

Cincinnati Bengals – Cap Space 45M – They have plenty of cap space to sign Bush for a couple of years. The real question is do they spend money on Bush or take a running back in the draft? Bush would be a great complementary back to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. They would be able to use him as a change of pace back and utilize him in the passing game, lining up in the backfield and also in the slot. Bush has soft hands and has been underutilized as a receiver in Miami. He would be a great check down option for Andy Dalton and might take some of the deep pressure off of AJ Green.

Indianapolis Colts – Cap space 43M – The Indianapolis Colts are a young team that may be looking to add some depth to the running back position. I believe that Bush would be a great complementary back to Vick Ballard, but I am not certain the Colts want to spend money in free agency with holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. Although the Colts have cap space to make a play for a guy like Bush, look for them to fill other holes first and potentially look for running back depth in the later rounds of the draft.

Atlanta Falcons – Cap Space 21M – The Atlanta Falcons have a Reggie Bush on their roster in Jacquizz Rodgers. With the loss of Michael Turner the Falcons may be more likely to pursue Steven Jackson. In thinking about the up-tempo style of offense that the Falcons have transitioned to Bush would be a great fit. He is a great pass catching running back that developed an ability to run between the tackles and would be a great check down target for quarterback Matt Ryan especially if Tony Gonzalez decided to retire.

Green Bay Packers – Cap Space 20M – I am not certain Reggie Bush would want to play in Green Bay primarily because of the weather. To go from New Orleans to South Florida to the frozen tundra does not make any sense. What does make sense is Bush’s pass catching abilities on an electrifying offense like the Packers. Bush could be the “cowbell” back that he was in Miami and play for a much better offense. If Bush ends up in Green Bay his fantasy stock may skyrocket.

Detroit Lions – Cap Space 9M – The loss of Jahvid Best has only fueled the fire on speculation that Bush may end up in Detroit. With limited cap space and many players to sign on the offensive and defensive side of the ball including defensive end Cliff Avril, the Lions may not be the best fit due to their holes in other places. Bush not only would fill the complementary role at running back with Mikel Leshoure, but his impact in the return game would be equally as important in trying to get him signed during the free agent period.

New York Jets – Cap Space 8M – Shonn Greene is most likely moving somewhere else in free agency. The Jets will be looking to sign a running back in free agency or in the draft. With the cap space that is available they are more likely to add depth via the draft. With Bilal Powell in position to get the nod at running back, what they do in free agency and the draft will tell fantasy owners how they feel about Bilal Powell in the backfield for the Jets.

Houston Texans – Cap Space 7M – The Texans are in a crunch for cap money. With guys on their roster currently like Connor Barwin, Glover Quin, and Shaun Cody looking to renew contracts, it is not realistic to believe the Texans would make this move. I like to imagine what it would be like for the Texans to pass on him in 2006 but sign him in 2013. That situation would create the kind of NFL drama, made for TV footage, that Roger Goodell likes in his NFL.

San Diego Chargers – Cap Space 7M – With Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle moving on in free agency the San Diego backfield is in need of a complementary back. Reggie Bush may be enticed by the opportunity to move back to his roots in Southern California. Ryan Mathews is often injured and has the ability to be a big time playmaker but does he have the heart of an NFL running back? Adding Bush would give San Diego a better pass catcher in the backfield and they could lean on Bush if they continue to get a lack of production from Ryan Mathews. With 7M in cap space it would take a lot of restructured contracts to get Bush in San Diego.

Arizona Cardinals – Cap Space 5M – Arizona is another option but they are more strapped for cash than the Chargers and Texans. By adding Bush to the mix they would have a potential “cowbell” back depending on the health or Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. Although many fantasy owners believe that Ryan Williams is the answer if he is healthy, he hasn’t been able to play more than 7 games over the last two seasons. While I believe Arizona will bolster its backfield via the draft, Reggie Bush would be a nice addition to a very stagnant offense.
(Cap Space numbers courtesy of Overthecap.com)

It is a certainty that the Dolphins will be fighting other teams to resign Bush back onto the roster. With his skill set and the lack of quality running backs in free agency look for teams to give Bush a nice contract offer. Although he is an aging running back, he doesn’t have a lot of wear on the tires. He has received the majority of the carries that last two seasons and prior to that was a quality complementary back for the Saints. Early into free agency look for a number of teams that need running back depth and a boost in special teams to make lucrative offers for Bush’s services. As free agency begins, one GM will reach in his pocket and make an offer so he may have the opportunity to say the famous words of one Curtis Armstrong (Booger), We’ve got Bush, we’ve got Bush?

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About the author

Brian Bulmer

I have been a sports medicine professional for the last 10 years. Active in 5 dynasty leagues because fantasy football is all year long. I have a beautiful daughter and wonderful wife.

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