Year after year, we see players from all types of positions and ages find a second life in their careers in New England. Corey Dillon, Rodney Harrison, Randy Moss, Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount are the most notable players to succeed when many teams cut/shipped them out and left them out to dry.
This year, a man by the name of Michael Bush, looks to be a potential fit in New England by getting a second shot as a situational RB in the NFL. Michael Bush was drafted with the 100th overall pick in the 4th round by the Oakland Raiders back in 2008. Bush gave Oakland some good play over his four year stint there, amounting 2,642 yards and 21 touchdowns. Bush also showed an ability to punch it in when near the goal line, as he scored 13 touchdowns on 30 attempts in the red zone.
Afterwards, Bush spent two years in Chicago, having two extremely underwhelming seasons, largely to due with the fact that Bush served as a back up for Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. Chicago released Bush back in early March.
Guess who else was in a similar situation this same time last year? None other than the Winnebago himself; LeGarrette Blount.
Last year, LeGarrette Blount was brought to the New England Patriots for a 7th round pick and RB Jeff Demps (who had a total of 14 rushing yards in 2013). Blount had just come off of a 151 yard season with 2 touchdowns. Similarly, Michael Bush finished up 2013 in Chicago with just 197 yards and 3 touchdowns. Both of these players were coming off of extremely unproductive years and were deemed by many as useless.
In addition to rushing stats, these two backs are nearly identical physically. Blount measures in at 6’0” and 250 lbs; Bush is 6’1” and 245 lbs. Both, Blount and Bush are used primarily in short yardage situations, and very rarely go down on the first hit. Don’t believe me? Watch the Patriots-Colts playoff game from this year or the 2011 Patriots-Raiders game where Michael knocks over Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo to force his way into the end zone.
Michael Bush visited the Patriots in early April, and left without a deal. Depending on what the Patriots do in the draft, New England could highly benefit from having a sure handed, bruising back (4 fumbles in 6 NFL seasons) who can give the Patriots depth at running back. Not to mention that the only running back the New England Patriots have signed past 2014 is Jonas Gray, a reserve/emergency situation running back.
At the end of the day, Michael Bush doesn’t have much interest on the free agency market, and could easily be signed to a ‘Show Me’, 1 year deal for little money. Low risk, possibly a solid reward.
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[Photo: Brace Hemmelgran-USA TODAY Sports]