According to Pewterreport.com, the Raiders are shopping running back Michael Bush.
(Be patient with the link _ some web sites are moving extremely slow or shutting down because of heavy traffic.)
The Bucs, victims of a 177-yard rushing effort by Bush in the season finale, are said to be interested.
Got a call on this last night, asking about the possibility, and my response was that it seemed unlikely for the following reasons.
— Bush is a bargain, earning $460,000 this year and $550,000 in 2010. The Raiders like to think they got a first-round talent at a fourth-round price, and would be more likely to offload a higher-priced back such as Justin Fargas.
— The Raiders plan to run the ball as much or more than they did last year. They needed all three runners in 2008. No reason to think they won’t need them all in 2009.
— Darren McFadden was less than durable as a rookie. Could be a freak occurance, but you don’t know for sure until he carries 200-plus times and catches 60-plus passes in a 16-game season.
That makes Bush all the more valuable.
If you’re looking for reasons how a Bush deal could be possible, consider the following:
— When Bush was asked to put in some time at fullback because of injuries to Oren O’Neal and Justin Griffith, his response was less than enthusiastic.
He could have looked at it as a chance to broaden his game, catch some passes and maybe even have some plays put in to make his of his skills that went beyond blocking. Instead, he was resistant.
— At the press conference announcing the hire of Tom Cable, when owner Al Davis talked about the group of running backs, he talked about “four” quality runners.
That would indicate that he likes Louis Rankin. Enough to part with Bush? Seems unlikely.
— The Raiders are simply fishing and hope to reel in a big one. What if a team liked Bush enough to offer a first-round draft pick, or a high second?
If no offer were to surface, no big deal.
With the Raiders, you seldom rule out anything without careful consideration. As far as the possibility Bush is actually traded, let’s say I’m skeptical.
In other developments, a source close to guard Cooper Carlisle said he is lining up visits and will start in the south. Carlisle went to college in Florida.