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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