"The Book" on Reggie
Reggie Bush stands at a crossroads. With the Miami Dolphins planning to lean on Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas for carries next season, Bush is on the outs. He wants to be seen as a lead back, but those days are over. Bush's best move is to accept reality, because a little positional compromise won't diminish his chances to impact an NFL offense.
Seven years after becoming the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, Bush still has quickness and fascinating field speed. His cutting ability is jaw-dropping. The key to unleashing Bush's gifts boils down to scheme. He was underutilized in New Orleans and lost touches down the stretch in Miami, but as a complimentary speed back, Bush represents a major headache.
Bush doesn't want to float from team to team, but that's unavoidable. Used creatively, he still can turn up the volume on a defense, generate havoc in open space and find the end zone from anywhere on the field.
Coming off a good year?
The Dolphins lost faith in Bush as an every-down back. He fell just 14 yards shy of his second consecutive 1,000-yard campaign in 2012, but he's a better fit as a complementary weapon. Bush's six rushing touchdowns were matched by another 292 yards and two scores through the air. He made Miami's offense more dynamic. Bush also played through pain and proved to be an asset in the locker room. Multiple teams will come calling.
Bush's "indecisive running and dancing in the backfield" tweaked his coaches in Miami, according to one report. He's hedging close to age 30 -- the death knell for running backs. Bush doesn't want to take a pay cut and he doesn't want to become a third-down back, but there's no market for this player as an every-down runner. It will be interesting to see what sort of price point materializes. That could come down to how confident teams are that Bush will accept his role and be open to change.
Bush won't see a repeat of the two-year, $9.75 million deal he netted in Miami. Look for something closer to a one-year, $4 million deal -- or maybe $7 million over two years.
Potential landing spots
How about the Cincinnati Bengals? Andy Dalton is too vanilla for some, but think about the potential mismatches created by Bush and wide receiver A.J. Green. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are another team with durability and consistency issues in the backfield. Coach Bruce Arians could do wonders with a player like Bush as a pass-catching option.
I think the San Diego Chargers might make a run. They've sorely missed Darren Sproles and Bush is the closest thing on the market to a multithreat weapon. Don't count out the New England Patriots, either. Bill Belichick loves smart, versatile players and with Danny Woodhead possibly out the door, Miami would regret this parting for years to come.