Throughout his career, Reggie Bush has been a pure playmaker. However, he’s still perhaps almost always thought of as being the most overhyped running back in the history of the NFL Draft. In 2006, when Bush came out of USC following a Heisman trophy winning ’05 season, most NFL experts considered him a lock to be the first overall pick of the Houston Texans.
So, when Gary Kubiak rightfully passed on him in favor of pass rushing phenome Mario Williams, a permanent red flag was placed next to Bush’s name across the NFL. Despite never developing into the Hall of Fame talent many thought he’d be, Reggie Bush is still a dynamic running back, who can add versatility and depth to almost any roster.
On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions released the now 29-year old veteran. Kubiak cannot afford to pass on him again. Kubiak’s Denver Broncos are in serious need of a veteran presence in their running back corps. After an injury plagued 2014 season, Bush’s price tag is lower than it’s ever been. Denver would be wise to target him when the free agency period opens up next month.
The Broncos have four running backs under contract for the 2015 season. Their average age is less than 24 years old. That’s a full three years younger than the average NFL running back. Signing Bush would mean adding a veteran presence with championship experience to help develop young running backs like C.J. Anderson, Montee Ball, and Juwan Thompson. Furthermore, Bush still has the talent to contribute to a team’s success.
Nobody ever really gave Bush a chance to be the player he could have been. Throughout his career, he’s almost always been asked to be the first or second running back in a platoon. During his nine seasons with the Saints, Dolphins, and Lions, Bush has averaged less than eleven carries per game.
Despite his light work load, he’s still been able to rack up considerable yardage totals. His career yards per carry average sits at an impressive 4.3. That number is comparable to the likes of Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, and slightly better than two time All-Pro Steven Jackson. Bush is also an elite pass catching running back, averaging nearly fifty two receptions a season.
The Broncos would be wise to target Reggie Bush in free agency this off-season. He’s affordable, experienced, and at times, electric. Signing Bush to a short term, low cost contract would instantly improve the running back room at Dove Valley. Gary Kubiak may have passed on him in 2006. But, as the saying goes, “Fool me once…”