By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 at 8:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.
For as much as Michael Bush loved playing for the Raiders the past five seasons, he spoke often about the prospect of being the lead back. If not for the Raiders, so be it. He wants a chance to show what he can do as the lead back.
He got that chance last season as a result of an injury to lead back Darren McFadden. Bush started the final nine games and rushed for a career-high 977 yards.
Yet, Bush knows that regardless how well he played, he was just keeping the job warm for when McFadden returned from his foot injury.
Now that McFadden is healed and ready to go, Bush once again would be relegated to a complementary role in the Raiders offense.
Hence, Bush hit the free-agent market Mar. 13 in an effort to see if he could find the opportunity he has yearned for since he entered the league with the Raiders in 2007 — he sat out his rookie season while recovering from a broken leg he suffered in his final season at the University of Louisville.
For whatever reason, the market for veteran running backs such as Bush — regarded as one of the best on the open market — has been lukewarm, at best.
Bush has visited the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals. Both times, he left without a contract in hand. The Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets reportedly also are interested in Bush’s services. Interestingly, he has no chance of being the lead back in either Seattle or Chicago next season.
Therefore, it brings about the prospect of Bush returning to the Raiders in 2012 if he isn’t able to land a starting gig elsewhere.
That’s something few thought possible as recently as two weeks ago. Yet, now it seems more and more plausible.
Bush has said numerous times how much he enjoys playing for the Raiders. So, if all things are equal, it would seem to mean the Raiders have a strong chance of getting back Bush if things don’t change soon.
Don’t rule it out.