Al Davis is a gambler. Always has been. Always will be. Back in 2007 the Raiders rolled the dice on a running back from Louisville that had Heisman worthy talent but came with a large question mark in the shape of a broken leg.
None questioned his game. The biggest concern NFL teams had with regards to Michael Bush was the entire year he’d have to sit out once his pro career began. By taking Bush in the 4th round many thought Davis had wasted a pick on a player he could have had in the later rounds.
Again the gambler in Davis shone brightly. Four years later Bush is one of the more highly sought commodities in Oakland. There isn’t a year that’s gone by since Bush finally started getting touches that teams don’t call to inquire about the back with a rare combo of linebacker size and wide receiver speed.
Bush has seen his role increase each year in the NFL. Before being injured in camp last year he was on track to be starting ahead of Darren McFadden.
Now Bush stands alone. He is the only remaining restricted free agent left in the NFL. That gamble Davis took seems to have come full circle for Bush. Because Bush spent his first full year in the NFL rehabbing, never seeing the field, never participating in practice, he only has three year of NF L service instead of the four necessary for unrestricted free agency.
Davis has already proven the critics wrong. Now all that remains is to do what is right.
Al Davis must commit to Michael Bush in the form of a long term contract. Currently Bush is pitted with the reality of signing a one year contract worth just over $3-million. That check is more than Bush has ever made in his pro career but it’s not enough. The money is not the issue it is the amount of time the Raiders have set aside to keep him on the payroll.
Davis rolled the dice on an unknown that has blossomed into an NFL commodity. With Darren McFadden’s knack for finding his way to the injury report it is a must to keep Bush around. No NFL team relies on the production of one running back. The Raiders are very much a running team. The argument lends itself to the most simple of answers – show Michael Bush the money.
Once upon a time Bush as a gamble. Now he’s a sure bet. After Zach Miller slipped through Al’s clutches this week the Raiders quickly turned to Kevin Boss. Should Bush decide not to sign his tender there is no replacement comparable on the open market.
Bush committed to the Raiders now it’s time for the Raider to commit to him.