The Oakland Raiders are entering their first free agent season in decades without the guidance of Al Davis, who served as both owner and general manager of the team prior to his passing. Raiders fans watched their team fall apart in the second half of the 2011 season, suffering injuries to key players and not taking advantage of opportunities, while drawing a multitude of unnecessary penalties.
One of the bright spots for the Raiders last season was running back Michael Bush, who stepped up and was a consistent playmaker, while Darren McFadden was sidelined with injuries. Bush is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
Steve Corkran of The Contra Costa Times reports that retaining Bush is going to be a tough call for the Raiders this offseason.
Michael Bush wants to be a starting running back. He realizes that isn't apt to happen in Oakland as long as Darren McFadden is on the roster.
Therefore, Bush likely won't be interested in a long-term contract. Given that, the Raiders have to decide whether they want to use the franchise tag on Bush, to the tune of $7.7 million or so for 2012.
Corkran notes that new GM Reggie McKenzie has a knack for developing under-the-radar running backs. With both McFadden and Taiwan Jones under contract for next season, Bush may be free to pursue greener pastures.
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