By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – The 2014 season may have been the last one in Detroit for veteran running back Reggie Bush, who signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Lions before the 2013 season.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Impacting Health & Well-Being Across Metro Region
Bush rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his first season in Detroit, but in 2014 he struggled to stay healthy, and the run game of the Lions ranked among the worst in the NFL. Between those factors and the fact the team needs to free up cap space to re-sign All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Bush could be released with two years remaining on his deal.
Speaking at the NFL combine Wednesday, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said the organization has not yet decided whether Bush will be back.
“We haven’t at this point,” Mayhew said. “Anybody on our roster – there’s a lot futures up in the air. My future’s up in the air, too. You know, it’s the NFL, so I would say that. I would say that about Ndamukong [Suh]. I would say that about all of our free agents. Their futures are up in the air. A lot of guys are under contract, they’re in the same situation, so it’s really about the value you bring to the organization. That’s constantly reevaluated every offseason.”READ MORE: Detroit Police Department To Host Drive-Up Candy Stations On Oct. 31 At All Precincts
Though the Lions have at least three running backs in the fold between Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, the team could use a draft pick at the position, particularly if it decides to part ways with Bush. In describing the type of players he likes at that spot, Mayhew left all options open.
“I like guys with different traits,” Mayhew said. “As you can see, the guys that we have have different strengths, and I want to build our roster with guys that can do different things in the course of the game. So an all-around back is good. Obviously, when you have a guy like Theo Riddick who can make a difference in the passing game, that brings value to your team. You know, Joique Bell, cleaning up between the tackles, running for us is big. He does a good job catching balls out of the backfield as well, so I like guys that are versatile.
“But you’ve got to have a guy that can run between the tackles,” Mayhew continued, “and you’ve got to have a playmaker who can do something in space.”
Bush has traditionally fallen into that last category, but a twice-injured ankle hampered him throughout the season. He was limited to 11 games and 297 yards on 76 carries.MORE NEWS: Metro Detroit Woman Files Lawsuit Against Walmart, Says Discriminated Against By Managers