Yesterday’s arrival of Michael Bush in Napa finally put to rest all of the Raiders lingering contract issues…at least for the time being. Bush reluctantly reported to camp, holding out faint hopes that the Raiders would actually want to talk long-term. Unfortunately for Bush, Al Davis is only focused on the season at hand currently. Thus Bush is left with a one-year contract has his only recourse for playing football in 2011.
You could argue Bush is as valuable to the Raiders as Darren McFadden. We know for a fact the Raiders felt Bush was valuable enough to be tendered the highest value possible for a restricted free agent. What is confusing is why Oakland can ask for a first round pick in exchange for Bush yet can’t seem to find a way to workout a longer deal.
This, of course, is the nature of the business of football. No matter how many labor stoppages that may occur in the decades to come the cutthroat nature of this game will never change.
Hue Jackson knows how important Bush is to the Raiders’ offense. After losing Zach Miller to Seattle and Run DMC to injury (again) it stands to reason that for the here and now Bush is the most important Raider on offense.
He’s just not important enough to make a long-term commitment to…at least not at this time.
Maybe Al Davis has designs on taking care of Bush once the cap situation is more thoroughly corrected. However given the approach taken with Miller it stands to reason that Bush’s time will not come until he completes this season and enters into those vast waters of unrestricted free agency.
Luckily for Oakland Bush is a true professional. Despite his brief holdout Bush reported in shape and ready to play. What makes the whole scenario even more surreal is that Bush downplayed McFadden’s injury as the reason for his return. Instead the Chronicle quotes him for his desire to lessen the workload for Rock Cartwright and Louis Rankin.
“I also got a strong bond with Rock (Cartwright) and Louis (Rankin). Those guys were taking a lot of reps. I kind of felt bad. I wanted to get here and kind of ease their pain a little bit.”
With a team-first mentality and a unique combo of size and speed Bush is as valuable a teammate as he is a player. The Raiders know this and they’ll be doing themselves a big favor by committing to Michael Bush in 2011 before Tom Cable comes calling in 2012.