The rumor mill has spun around the past few days, suggesting that Oakland Raider free agent Michael Bush could end up in Cincinnati soon.
My question is simple: if it happens will you be excited?
And before you answer, consider this. Last season, which was the most Bush has played in his four years, he had 977 yards and seven touchdowns, but he only averaged 3.8 yards per carry. He’s a big back (6-1, 245 pounds) and a fairly good receiver (37 receptions for 418 yards), but he’s not quite the home-run threat you might want for the Bengals offense.
And perhaps more troubling is what it would mean for Cincinnati’s present depth chart. If Bush is signed, you would have to expect a current back to get cut (either Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, or Cedric Peerman), or the team might look past the position in the draft. Might.
If it were me, I’d rather have a rookie running back with some more explosiveness added to the present rotation. Leonard is a steady special teamer, a perfect third-down back, and could probably do even more if given a larger role in the offense. Scott is a pretty dynamic player, although he’s not built to be an every-down back. And Peerman is a special teams ace, who has shined in preseason action and is an intriguing candidate for more touches. Do you want to kick one of those guys off the roster? I don’t.
Bush’s biggest asset would be his skills on short-yardage plays and in the red zone. The Bengals were rather pitiful in both areas last season, and a big back like Bush should help them to improve in both areas. However, given Bush’s injury history and his increased salary (he’ll likely cost more than what the Bengals would pay a rookie), I can’t get that excited about the thought of him in black and orange.
Sure, he’d fill a need.
But I’d prefer a rookie back with similar measurements, someone who should come cheaper, have more upside, and might keep everyone else on the roster.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe maybe you can convince me otherwise.
So here’s your chance.
Should we be excited about Michael Bush?