Many were pushing back sleep tonight in hopes of hearing firsthand of a completed trade that would send Broncos’ quarterback Kyle Orton to the Miami Dolphins. Instead, we were all in for a curveball, as Jeff Ireland has apparently been on the line with the New Orleans Saints attempting to hammer out a deal for Reggie Bush.
The two parties came to an agreement shortly after 1 a.m. this morning, sending Bush to Miami contingent on Reggie agreeing to a new contract in South Beach that would spare the Dolphins the $11.8 million he’s owed in 2011.
What the Dolphins are giving up in this swap hasn’t become known as of yet. I would imagine it would be in the ballpark of a fifth or sixth-round pick, though, as the Saints are just looking to get anything they can out of a guy they would have been forced to release.
Obviously, there are several reasons why this makes a ton of sense for the Dolphins’ revamped offense. Second-round pick Daniel Thomas would benefit from having a complimentary back with dangerous speed. Well, Bush is one of the most explosive players in the league. He’s your ideal fit to spell Thomas on third-down especially, with superb receiving skills out the back-field and split out wide in the slot. Add dynamic punt returner to the mix, and the Dolphins have just become considerably more exciting to watch just in time for training camp.
As I’ve said before, though, there are reasons not to fall in love with Bush. He’s had a difficult time staying healthy, having not played a full 16-game season since his rookie year. Bush isn’t a vastly productive runner either; as his career-high is a mere 581 yards and his yards-per-carry mark didn’t top 3.8 until ’09.
If Daniel Thomas is the back the Dolphins think he is and he’s able to carry the bulk of the workload productively, Bush’s shortcomings will be less of an issue. But because Thomas is still a huge question mark as a rookie, I think accompanying Bush with a capable workhorse is in order.
Bringing back Ronnie Brown would be my ideal signing, but other backs like Willis McGahee or Marion Barber would also be solid insurance policies.
As of 2:30 this morning, it also isn’t known whether or not this will affect the Dolphins’ chances of trading for Kyle Orton. Negotiations that were set to wrap up as soon as 6 p.m. Wednesday night have likely turned south to some degree, and Jeff Darlington is reporting that Orton and the Broncos are still in talks with “multiple” other teams.