At some point, the Detroit Lions have to face the fact that running back Jahvid Best probably won’t play professional football ever again.
I say they need to address this fact sooner rather than later.
It seems that GM Martin Mayhew and the Detroit front office agrees with me, because the team is rumored to make a run at free agent running back Reggie Bush when free agency begins tomorrow.
The former Dolphin and Saint has proven to be one of the league’s elite pass catchers out of the backfield during his six-year career. His 2,730 yards and 29 touchdowns
through the air are quite impressive for a running back.
As a runner, the guy rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 2012 as well. I’m not saying Bush should get 20+ carries a game, because he shouldn’t. But his shifty style and prowess in the passing game would make him a nice complement to Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell.
Is Bush an elite NFL running back? Absolutely not. But he is similar to Best in many ways, and fits the pass-heavy system that Detroit currently employs.
In order for the Lions to make a run at Bush, a couple things have to fall in place. First, they have to decide what to do at defensive end. Detroit certainly doesn’t want to start Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young at DE, so they need to re-sign Cliff Avril, commit to drafting an end in the top two rounds, or find another DE to sign as a free agent.
Of those options, I’m leaning toward getting a DE in the draft. There is much more talent in the draft than in free agency, and Avril will be too expensive for the Lions to get.
Next, Detroit must restructure Matthew Stafford’s contract. With less than $10 million of cap space to work with, Detroit doesn’t currently have the money to pay Bush, a free agent DB (which they need more than Reggie), and a draft class. Once Stafford re-works his deal, the Lions will have more money to work with and can make a legit run at Bush.
Reggie Bush is not Jahvid Best. But he has a similar skill set, and could bring a little electricity to a Lions team that lacked it from the running back position in 2012.
Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny