With the NFL lockout presumably coming to an end some time this week, I think it is now safe to turn an eye to what may be the most hectic free agency period in the history of the league.
This epic free agency period may not be saturated with elite talent, but the acute window teams will have to sign its own players and pursue other talent, is what will make this signing period great for the fans, and a nightmare for reporters.
While the Steelers have many in-house issues to take care of as far as resigning players goes, I recently heard a very interesting perspective on a player the black and gold may be after.
ESPN’s football analyst Adam Schefter recently reported the Steelers have shown interest in acquiring Saints running back Reggie Bush. Now I know going after a high priced personality such as Bush is not really the Steeler way, but here me out, this one actually makes some sense.
When the Saints took Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round this past NFL draft, Bush realized his chances of ever being a No. 1 back for the Saints, or for anyone else in the league is a slim chance. He even tweeted that he enjoyed his time in New Orleans and that he loved the fans there, but expected to be leaving the team that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2006.
Bush has to be aware that he is no longer going to receive No. 1 running back money, and therefore would not be ridiculously expensive to acquire. Most importantly, I think he would fill a large role for the Steelers with his unique game-changing ability.
I don’t expect the Steelers to resign Mewelde Moore, which will leave the need for a third down running back. Bush could provide exactly what the Steelers need at that position with his pass-catching ability. In seasons where Bush played in 10-plus games, he never recorded less than 40 receptions. Moore has only recorded 40 receptions twice in his career, and only once with the Steelers.
With Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to get out of the pocket and scramble, Bush would be the perfect player for Roethlisberger to dump the ball off to when plays break down. While Bush has never shown the ability to run between tackles in his career, no one denies his abilities in the open field. He is a nightmare for opposing teams to contain in the open field, and can take any run all the way to the end zone on a given possession. He is exactly what the Steelers would need in a third down running back. His ability to extend plays and break enormous runs could prove to be a great upgrade to the Steeler’s offense.
We have not even discussed how Bush’s return abilities could help the Steelers. It seems as though the Steelers have become very content with simply having a return man with sure hands that can fair-catch most punts and safely hang onto the ball. Bush would add a different aspect to the special teams, in that he is a threat to return any punt for a touchdown, from anywhere on the field.
If the Steelers don’t resign Ike Taylor, there will certainly be enough money to sign a player such as Bush. I know that for the time being Bush to the Steelers is nothing more than a rumor, but I think it would be a good move if the price were right. If the Steelers don’t have to overpay for what Bush can bring to the team I am all for it. He was the most dominating player I ever watched play college football, and although he has not exactly translated those skills to the NFL, I would love to give Bush a chance to help the Steelers.