NFL teams are permitted to start signing free agents in exactly two weeks (March 12) and until then, we’ll be hearing plenty of half-truths regarding teams’ interest in players.
Word came out Tuesday that the Lions indeed have “real” interest in free agent running back Reggie Bush, the soon-to-be former Dolphins running back. Dave Birkett, the Lions’ beat writer for the Detroit Free Press, said that “plenty of NFL people” at the Combine believe that Bush will be the primary target for the Lions this offseason.
It’s no secret that they need a compliment to current running backs Mikel LeShoure and Joique Bell. Bush would give the Lions a home run threat and a true weapon out of the backfield for Matthew Stafford, who recently started following Reggie Bush on Twitter (huge news, right?).
The question is whether the salary cap-strapped Lions can afford to pay the 27-year old the four or five million per year that he will probably command. Bush’s career got off to a slow start in New Orleans, but he found his stride in Miami over the past two years – gaining a combined (rushing and receiving) 1,382 yards in 2011 and 1,278 yards in 2012.
If it’s me, I spend the $4 or $5 million a year on defense and take a burner in the draft. Guys like Knile Davis and Kenjon Barner come to mind. Running backs grow on trees these days. Bush wouldn’t be called upon to carry the full load a la Adrian Peterson or Trent Richardson. There are glaring holes all over the defensive side of the ball. That’s where the money should be spent.