The NFL has confirmed that Raiders running back Michael Bush is a restricted free agent, which therefore gives the Raiders a certain amount of protection against losing him to another team.
The Raiders offered Bush a one-year tender in March. As a restricted free agent, other teams are free to offer Bush a contract. If that happens, the Raiders have the right to match the offer or receive a first-round draft pick as compensation.
The Raiders selected Bush with the first pick of the fourth round in the 2007 NFL draft. Getting a first-round pick in return for losing Bush would be pretty sweet compensation.
Just the same, that’s a pretty steep price to pay and points to the Raiders getting back Bush for this season, if not longer.
The league’s decision to not count Bush’s rookie season — he sat out while recovering from a broken leg he suffered at Louisville — is a boon to the Raiders. It’s a blow to Bush from the standpoint that he can’t reap the riches as an unrestricted free agent, which requires four accrued seasons.