One of the more exciting players in the NFL over the past few years has been Reggie Bush. He is now a free agent after being cut by the Detroit Lions. Could he be a good addition to the Raiders? Let's see.
Since spending the first five seasons of his career in New Orleans as the number two overall pick, he has had a two-year stop in Miami, and a two-year stop in Detroit. Now 30-years old -- the widely believed age running backs begin to go downhill quickly -- he is a free agent once again.
Bush has had basically three good seasons in the NFL from 2011-13. He was at his most durable in those season, the first two with the Dolphins and the third with the Lions. His skillset was also properly utilized which allowed him to average over 1000 yards over those three seasons and a respectable 4.6 yards per carry. He also averaged 44 catches for 365 yards over that time.
Much like Darren McFadden, he excels as a receiving threat. McFadden was also supposed to have the speed to make teams pay if you got him in open space, but that speed never really showed up on the field as an NFL player. Bush's speed was apparent every time he touched the ball and he also had lateral quickness McFadden never had.
Bush was at one time a Heisman Trophy winner. I say "at one time" because he had it stripped from him for receiving improper benefits in college. But the benefits be damned, he was the most electric runner in college football and the consensus number one overall pick. The Texans surprised many people in taking Mario Williams at number one overall and that decision proved to be the correct one.
I mention Bush's time with the Trojans because that is Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio's alma mater. He wants to have a power run game in Oakland, but if arguably the greatest all-around athlete in USC history is available, might Del Rio find a way to fit him into the offense?
New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was on Chip Kelly's staff in Philadelphia last season. Musgrave has said he would like to bring some of the fast paced offense he learned during his time there to the Raiders. Reggie Bush is the type of athlete, even at 30 years old, who could be a factor in such an offense. He would be a pretty good change-up back for Latavius Murray in much the same way C.J. Spiller would be.
Do the Raiders need a guy like Reggie Bush? Probably not. He is a luxury player. That's what he's always been. He is that icing on the cake, that X-factor. Can the Raiders be thinking luxuries when they are still early in their rebuild efforts? Perhaps.
It would be a short relationship which is typical for the Raiders veteran signings in recent years. That's something they would like to eventually get away from, but they aren't quite there yet. There isn't another player on this team who has Reggie Bush's skillset. And maybe the Southern California native would like to return home to finish his career.