2012 free agency is now approaching a week old and Michael Bush's interest on the market has been tepid, at best. It was stated that he was going to visit the Bears and the Bengals but neither has signed him at this time.
One theory, per PFT, is that the new rookie wage scale makes veterans RBs less valuable but I'm not sure that I agree with that logic. While the new rookie wage scale does slot rookies into affordable contracts outside of the first round there isn't much changed - players in later rounds were already slotted into a reasonable range.
More likely it simply is a continuation of what clubs have been doing for years - a RB in his upper 20's isn't considered valuable for a long term contract unless he's elite. Players who are not elite frequently have to sign contracts for 1 year deals because clubs aren't interested in taking a long term risk on them.
With all this being said, I think it's possible that Bush comes back to the Raiders. I don't know what McKenzie feels about Bush - does he like him as a player or not? I doubt that most anyone knows that at this time. But if he likes Bush, he could offer him a decent contract to come back and Bush is already familiar with the Raiders.
One of the reasons Bush was interested in hitting the open market was to try to be a starter somewhere. It looks unlikely that will happen anywhere at this time, so Bush may be back in Silver and Black next year.
Let me say that I think the likelihood is low, still. My best guess is that the Raiders address their back up running back situation at the end of the draft or with an undrafted free agent RB, but with each passing day of Michael Bush not getting an offer from a team, the chances increase that he will be brought back into the fold.
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If we do not re-sign Bush, there is a RB on our roster that could replace him that no one knows about.... Lonyae Miller. He's a big back also at 6', 232 lbs, but with some speed. He was Ryan Mathews back up at Fresno State from 2006-2009. He had 5.5 YPC, 2000+ yards and 20 scores on 374 carries as a part time back over four years. He had a long of 90 yards while at Fresno State to go along with numerous other long runs. At his pre-draft workouts, he ran a 4.43 40 and he put up a 26 on the bench press. He was an undrafted free agent back in 2010. Picked up by the Cowboys and eventually made Tashard Choice expendable. Cowboys raved about how much he had improved in his pass blocking and with his effort on ST. In college, he was underutilized as a receiving option, but he has shown that he has good hands and can be used in the passing game.
Honestly, I was surprised when the Cowboys released him and I was giddy when we signed him.
something no one brought up is Bush's BIGGEST weakness, for such a beast the guy is a TERRIBLE pass blocker. THAT is costing him dearly right now guaranteed.
If hes gonna be a backup elsewhere, he might as well do it in Oakland....look how much he played last year!
Have anyone hear rumours about which RBs have been thought of by the Raiders?
Aside for Turbin and Gannaway?
It will be a mistake to lose him. It's easy to say "Oh we have DMC" - but DMC has only made it thru one season without injury. IMHO - that means you hope he doesn't get hurt - but you plan that he probably will. Taiwan Jones has shown some flashes - but nothing near the level of Bush.
Don't understand the infatuation with Green-Ellis either. Bush outperforms him in virtually every category. Only 667 yards for Ellis as the starter last season. Fumbles? Bush has 3 fumbles in 632 carries - hardly a case of fumblitis. Think some Raider fans are a little spoiled having two starter quality backs when some teams (like NE) don't even have one.
why are people so high on jones, cause he's fast? he didn't show me anything outside the pre season that would even make me think he was a good backup. all he did was sit on the injury cart with dmac, ford, and others.
I am not fazed about seeing Bush back either way. If he comes back cheap enough then sure. If he still wants too much money even though it looks like he won't be getting a starting job anywhere (and let's face it he would be more likely to start here than the Bears and Seahawks) then we don't need him. Decent quality backs can be found in the later rounds and as Undrafted Free Agents these days so RB is not a big concern for me.
I still would much rather see us sign BenJarvus Green-Ellis (pipedream!) or draft Robert Turbin though.
I think it's possible, but highly unlikely. The Raiders already have a good starter in McFadden and a very good backup in Taiwan Jones. Even if they want a heavyweight steady runningback to give a change of pace late in the game, undrafted free agency normally provides with plenty of those guys who would come way cheaper, are way younger and you can keep them for some years.
I really do hope the Raiders resign Michael Bush. Bush is such an underrated player, and his durability, good hands, and strength makes him a valuable member to this team. I see Bush flourishing in the West Coast offense, and hopefully McKenzie sees that as well, and offers him a good contract. The loss of Michael Bush will be a significant blow to the Raider offense, as McFadden cannot be relied upon for any long periods of time due to his struggles with injuries...
@AsherMathews @tfds would it better for us for him to go get a large contract & earn us compensation?
@JarrodRollins You're right, I had no idea of who this guy was. He's intriguing. Seems like a disciplined guy and I've read about his pass-blocking skills. The one weird thing about him is why the cowboys cut him and it seems to be because of a very bad preseason debut last august, running just 11 yards on nine carries. That shouldn't have hurted his chances to make the team that badly, but he was a 3rd year UDFA and we all know patience is not a virtue Jerry Jones have.
He might very well be the wildcard Reggie's holding up his sleeve. I wouldn't be surprised if the team also looks for some UDFA to compete for the job during training camp, but this was a really good piece of info Jarrod!
I'm not sure if terible is the right word, but you have a good point here. For a guy of his size, his pass-blocking skills are lame.
@Indy! Not fair to compare yards between Green-Elis and Bush last year cause NE needed nearly no running game. He did have just 667 yards, but did you chek the TD stats? He had 11. He's almost unstoppable inside the red zone. He had almost the same yards per carry Bush had (Bush had 3.8 and Benjarvus had 3.7)
Now, you have a big point when you talk about McFadden's health. Actually he asn't had a complete season ever. He's fragile as a porcelain tea cup. You are indeed praying for his health all season long. The thing is Mike Bush isn't made out of cold iron. He was drafted on rd 4 because he had a major injurie at college. He was our projected starter back in 2010 but he missed first 4 games because of a hand injurie. Injuries come to anyone.
I'm not sayon Bush is a bad player, but you can survive with McFadden and Jones and anyone else. He's not a "must sign" under any circumstances.
@massillonraider Actually yes, he's damn fast! He did that amazing play blocking for that Jacoby Ford's TD return. He did show skill, he had nearly no playtime last year, but he did some very good runs. He had a pretty good 4.6 yards per carry last year.
@nilbymouth Signing BenJarvus isnt that difficult. It's not like Pats need him since they already have Stevan Ridley anyway. He's quite the same level of playere Mike Bush is, with the advantage that he never ever fumbles. His last fumble was in Highscool and that's just amazing.
@Black_Nightmare There is no doubt imo that we need to add a thumper to the mix! Someone to take the pace out of the game, run down the defense and help compliment D-Mac with the grind and pound we will need at times! ... But as you say, those come a dime a dozen! Doesn't need to be a special talent (especially not with the ZBS), and a low rd or UDFA rookie (or Reshawn Jackson, Lonyea Miller) will be cheap and can add that dimension without using further cap on it! Also, it is not like Bush was used on ST, so they might prefer a back up RB thumper that actually contributes on ST as well!
@Spartacus I don't think Reggie has such a high opinion of Bush. He would have made an offer from start if he thought Michael still has a place in this ofense.
Unlikely Bush gets a large contract, so no RT @aimonas1 would it better for us for him to go get a large contract & earn us compensation?
@Black_Nightmare Thank you. I like to advocate for my Bulldogs. lol.
All kidding aside, Miller never really had a chance to shine cuz of the immense potential that Ryan Mathews showed. Miller ran for like almost 2600 yards and like 34 TDs his senior year in HS before joining Fresno State. Unfortunately, Ryan Mathews came in a year later and he overshadowed Miller. Mathews got hurt a bit and that did allow Miller to get some decent touches and Miller never disappointed. However, the Bulldogs was all about Mathews when he was healthy.
It's no coincidence that miller's senior year was when he had the least number of touches as that was when Mathews went into straight beast mode and led the NCAA with 1808 yards and had like 18-19 TDs. Clifton Smith had a good season Miller's Freshman Year at Fresno State as well. He just got stuck behind some good backs.
I believe that Miller be given a good chance to take Bush's place and he will hit the ground running. Especially cuz he can be the pass-blocking that Bush never was. Another one of the things that he can do better than Bush is make people miss. He is a pretty shifty runner with good patience when looking for the hole. He has good vision when running as well. People be like 'Bush, who?' I just truly hopes that he is given a chance.
Here is his Pro Day from back in 2010.....
He had a very good Pro Day, but being from a Mid Major and being stuck behind Mathews is why he went undrafted.
@Black_Nightmare I think giving up multiple sacks last year constitutes as terrible. Night and day between he and DMC in that dept. He's one of the weakest I've seen. Terrible feet too, one reason he's such a straight forward non elusive back. Don't get me wrong, LOVE the guy, for about $1-2 million per.
You can't compare Green-Ellis and Bush. Green-Ellis was in a RB committee and played in a offense based around the pass. The rushing game was almost non-existent and was more just used to keep the defense honest.
Bush is adequate but I as could be seen last year our OL looked average when he was the RB and yet looked like a top talent when McFadden was playing. Bush also wore down to end the season when given the chance to prove himself as an everydown back and I think that has affected him this off-season with very small interest being shown. I will add in Bush's defense we should have bought someone else in to help with the rushing load when McFadden and Jones were hurt, but it still showed Bush lacked some conditioning.
As for Jones I am not sold on him either, hence why i would like Green-Ellis (I think he is the best available Free Agent RB) or to draft another RB like Turbin as I don't have complete faith in McFadden ever lasting a full season either.
He is unbelievably fast, he is a fighter and he is a hard worker - he has a ceiling that is extremely high!
His biggest issue is his health, and if he is able to stay healthy for the season he has something every team can use - that special something!
You can look at his College tape and see what kind of talent he has! Yeah, it was a division II school, and yeah he fumbled a lot, but his rare abilities shines through (and the fumbles make sense when he actually joined the school as a CB, took his first touch as a RB for a TD, and continually carries 6 men forward while they try to take him down)!
Really reminds me of CJ2K when i see him, as he has all the same strengths and weaknesses (and yes, he is just as fast as CJ)!
True, but I am just not sure McKenzie will want to commit to much more money to the RB position with the salary McFadden is receiving and the Packers were never big on giving lots of money to RB's.
@Black_Nightmare I agree. McKenzie obviously thinks he can get just an effective back, possibly via the draft, or free agency, for a lot cheaper. I just happen to be a big Michael Bush fan and think he is really a great player. Plus, I really think he would be a great weapon in the West Coast offense...
@Black_Nightmare He better not cuz then I'd have to eat crow. lol
@JarrodRollins Well, he's young and DMC does get hurt a lot so I bet he will have his chance. Let's just hope he doesn't disappoint when his time come.
@Indy! Well, if I'm being silly, why stopping now? He was 44th in yards per carry (so yeah, every team has 1 or two like him), #22 yards per game, 15th in TD, his longest run (wich is somehow very important for all you've said before) was number 30 amongst longest runs from every rb. Ok, you got me, he was #17 rusher last season, surprisngly enough being also #17 in total carries. Seriously bro, I like the guy, he's a decent runningback, but decent a runningback's worth is a dime a dozen.
@Black_Nightmare Well you're getting silly now. Bush was the #17 rusher this season. That means only half the league has even ONE guy as good as him.
@nilbymouth @Indy! @Black_Nightmare Imo Bush is the better RB of the two! He has been productive despite the subpar QB play we have had, and he has been able to step in and produce when we needed him!
Now, is he a starter in the league? For him i hope so, but he wore down as the season went on, so it is hard to tell how he would handle an entire season! No matter what, i see him as a very good back-up that we could naturally still use IF the price was low enough (which i doubt unless no other team think he has potential to start).
Lawfirm had the benefit of Brady who demands all the respect of the defense which draws them back and leaves room for the RBs to roam easier! His working conditions was better than those of Bush, and imo he is not a legit starter anywhere in the league!
However, he is a very solid and useable complementary back who doesn't fumble, can go and get the tough yards, is reliable, duable and a team first guy - PLUS he will be cheaper than Bush which is probably the main aspect for Reggie when looking at a back-up, complementary thumper, goal line back-up RB!
Still think we will go with either Reshawn Jackson, Lonyae Miller or a late rd or UDFA rooke who Reggie sees potential in!
Thumpers find it easy to fit in the ZBS scheme as it is an easy read, so he will probably find a low priced player who will produce a very good bang for our buck as Nilby puts it!
... And we still have TJ to flash when D-Mac needs a rest, or when we need to add a little X-Factor explosive speed to the offense!
Biggest difference I think is Green-Ellis will be cheaper and give very similar production therefore bigger bang for your buck. If McFadden can stay healthy for the majority of the season, then I think Green-Ellis would be a better complement with his Goal Line and short yardage abilities.
Like I said, none of them are worthy of such a long argument. And trust me, you can find next Mike Bush anywhere in this league... I think every team has one or two.
Longest runs by year:
2008: Bush: 67, BJ: 15
2009: Bush: 60, BJ: 29
2010: Bush: 30, BJ: 33
2011: Bush: 44, BJ: 18
It's not an anomaly - one game or something. Bush did it every year.
Yds per carry?
2008: Bush: 4.4, BJ: 3.7
2009: Bush: 4.8, BJ: 4.1
2010: Bush: 4.1, BJ: 4.4
2011: Bush: 3.8, BJ: 3.7
2008: Bush: 421, BJ: 275
2009: Bush: 589, BJ: 114
2010: Bush: 655, BJ: 1008
2011: Bush: 977, BJ: 667
The numbers are the numbers - not like I can just make them up, bro. Bush outplayed him from the back-up slot every year except one. So far as TDs - we can make up all kinds of scenarios... NE offense scored 47 TDs in 2011. Oakland scored 36. One team obviously had a lot more chances at the goal line. And BJ is the starter - Bush often deferred to DMC, Cartwright or Reece around the goal. Plus we did a lot of reverses this year with the wideouts.
Not like I'm trying to be a hard ass. I've been watching the Raiders for quite awhile and guys like Bush are not as easy to find as some seem to think. He's solid.
@Indy! @nilbymouth Seriously bro, you have no idea of what you're saying here. Green-Ellis had almost the same yards per carry Bush had. Bush was our goal line RB all year long and he was the starter for a large part of the season. Oakland had heavy run offense so is expected to have a lot of rushing yards.
The 44 yard rush was on that first game vs the bolts. They played a very bad defense that game. Bush had a blast that night running for 157 yards. On the very next game vs the bolts he had only 66 yards and his largest carry was 9 yards long. That's pretty circumstantial.
They both have the very same style of play and likely resuslts. I'm not sayin BenJarvus is a Peterson-like beast who would come to make a big revolution on how football is played ending the age of quarterbacks and starting the new age of the runningback. They both have pretty much the same level. If any, I could say BenJarvus will give you a more consistent game, while bush will have some 0 yards runs and some 15 yards runs in the same game, Green-Ellis will give you mostly 4-yarder carries, but their average will be just the same.
If you were to pick either one of the other, pick the cheaper. If you see a strong, heavy UDFA who can give you 4 yards per carrie, doesn't fumble and is younger than any of those, hell, keep the rookie!!!
None of them are elite players ando none of them are worthy of a lot of money or even a starting job for most franchises (or such a long argument if I may say something about it).
@nilbymouth @Black_Nightmare Well I certainly agree you can't compare Green-Ellis to Bush. Bush was the back-up and he had 1-1/2 times the yards BJ had. I don't buy the "committee" thing or NE "not needing a rushing game". Nonsense. You always want a balanced offense. If you have a solid back - he gets carries. The fact Green-Ellis WASN'T getting a lot of carries and that NE was playing other backs says everything - NE doesn't think much of him... they don't see him as a starter or a guy they can trust to carry the offense. And if you look a little deeper you see he had 20% less carries in 2011 compared to 2010. Same amount of games - but less involvement in the offense. What does that tell you? NE tried him as a full time guy and he didn't cut it - so they reduced his playing time.
The 11 TDs is obvious - they brought him in for goal line situations. A better number than Bush - but that's the luck of the draw and hardly a spectacular amount by any standard. Another thing I'd point out is there seems to be a belief that Bush is somehow a 3 yards/cloud of dust guy - but he had 5 runs over 20 yards last season - longest run 44 yds. BJ?... Zero 20 yd runs - 18 yds longest. So if blasting the line for a 1yd TD is your thing - BJ is your guy. If you'd rather see long runs from scrimmage - Bush is the man.
@Black_Nightmare @nilbymouth Bush is allowed to test the market and if no other team who needs a RB think he can start and want to pay him accordingly, he will probably be cheap and would prefer to stay with his firends where he is - but i think that some team will offer him a contract that is better than what Reggie think a back-up thumper RB is worth in our contract situation, so i don't expect him back!
@nilbymouth Sure. I just say not Bush nor BenJarvus will get real money anywhere. I think that, if Reggie indeed wanted him in the team, he would come for the right price.
But he will demand a contract that is probably more than Reggie will offer a back up RB, so unless he is willing to go down in pay (or D-Mac, his best friend, will), i don't think we will see him back! We will find out soon enough, and getting him back at Reggies price would be a great thing i am sure!
Still, i actually really hope that he gets his shot to start somewhere and a big payday since he has been working his ass off after the cheap shot that broke his leg! Always felt for him, so i hope he will get his time to shine!
@dondiraider He certainly will get his share of the carries here, and there is always the risk of D-Mac going down sometime!
But also, all his best friends are here and he has built a life for himself! If there is not that big contract out there, he will probably take a small discount to stay here!