There is no need for me to rehash the Michael Bush trade that supposedly was to be announced on Monday.
To the surprise of none – except maybe the individual who wrote the article – it is Wednesday and Bush is still employed by Al Davis.
I won’t use my sharp tongue to scold the author. Perhaps the individual did in fact have a credible source and in the end was just too eager. For all I know, the story could have been accurate for all of ten minutes before both sides backed away. Chalk this one up to yet another abuse of the blogosphere and a case of self importance. Here on JBB, I pride myself in allowing the journalists to do the walking while I’m more than happy to do the talking.
Whenever a trade rumor involves the Raiders, Michael Bush is always the name that comes up.
The Raiders were said to have been in talks with the rival San Diego Chargers during the 2008 season. Bush was thought to be headed to Tampa Bay back in February. Now the latest flirtation was an obscene suggestion that Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him Ocho Cinco) was coming to the Bay Area in exchange for the services of Michael Bush.
Making trades in the NFL is not at all different from making trades in the stock market. You want to buy low and get out before the bubble bursts.
By taking Bush in the 4th round of the 2007 draft, Al Davis and his staff have shown a keen eye for value and talent. Bush was thought to be a Heisman candidate prior to a broken leg that ended his college career. A sure fire first round pick became a gamble and any team willing to roll the dice would have to wait one contract year of rehabbing before seeing any return on investment.
After a year of hard work, Michael Bush took the field in 2008 and showed the football world what they all had missed out on. While his playing time was inconsistent due to a chaotic change in the coaching regime and injuries to first round pick Darren McFadden and incumbent starter Justin Fargas, Bush still found ways to grab the spotlight and showcase a skill set not seen in Silver and Black since – dare I say it? – Bo Jackson.
Two games in particular, one against Kansas City and the season finale in Tampa Bay, are about all the evidence you need. Now, general managers around the league are cornering Tom Cable to find out what Al Davis wants in exchange for the running back that has the build of Brandon Jacobs and the speed of Thomas Howard.
Mr. Davis, ever the businessman, knows that he holds all the cards. It would make no sense to trade Bush now with the draft still a little less than three weeks away. With each passing day, more draft rumors abound and it appears uncertainty will prevail. Therefore, the longer the Raiders sit on Bush, the more his value increases.
However, I’m here to tell you that there will be no draft day trade for Michael Bush, if ever.
If Bush turns out a 1,500-yard performance in 2009, then think what that would mean to his trade value in 2010. In fact, if Tom Cable plays his cards right, he could have a 1,500-yard rusher in Michael Bush and a 1,500 all purpose yardage player in Darren McFadden.
In a league that values tandem rushers, the Raiders could have the most intriguing backfield in the NFL. The versatile McFadden could line up as a wide receiver or even under center with Bush in the backfield. Truly a unique scenario in which two backs could share field time instead of splitting carries.
Trading Bush now is a nice short term solution, but allowing his stock to mature would be prudent to make any future dealings more fruitful. You’d much rather be the guy listening to everybody saying “look at what we could have had” instead of being the guy who says “look what we did have”.
All the while, Al Davis fields calls from interested parties and watches as his investment pays dividends. Not all of his decisions have been brilliant lately, but by making a running back with only 421 career rushing yards into a hot commodity, Al Davis has proven he still has a grasp on the science of football.