For an organization attempting to build good will in the community after years of ineptitude, the Miami Dolphins can't seem to get out of their own way.
This should be an exciting offseason where the Dolphins make the leap from being the perrenial 7-9 joke they have been since 2009 into a team ready to contend for a playoff berth. The defense just needs some holes plugged (holes that can easily be plugged in the draft), while the offense has a quarterback in place that has developed well and just needs some playmakers alongside him to really make the offense click.
Taking away a key playmaker and the Dolphins' most marketable player off the field is not the right way to go!
But according to CBSSports.com's Jason LaCanfora, that's exactly what the Dolphins are planning on doing.
Reggie Bush's ability to make explosive plays and contribute on special teams will lead to a nice market forming for him, I'm sure, and it's highly unlikely he stays with Miami, sources said.
Now this is an inevitability I foresaw last season as the Dolphins drafted Lamar Miller. I'm a Lamar Miller fan, and I think he will provide the Dolphins with everything that Reggie has provided for the Dolphins.
But he's not quite ready yet. He showed flashes during the 2012 season, but seemed lost at times in blocking for Ryan Tannehill and wasn't quite up to snuff with the playbook.
One more year for Miller should show some improvement, but this offense needs two running backs, and Daniel Thomas has been nothing short of disappointing in his two seasons with the Dolphins.
Bush has been productive in both of his seasons with the Dolphins, running for 2,072 yards and 12 touchdowns on 443 carries since arriving in Miami via trade with New Orleans (a trade which is one of the few highlights of the Jeff Ireland era). Catching the ball has seen some underachievement from Bush, as he's made 78 catches for 588 yards and three touchdowns.
I can't blame Bush for his low number of catches and yards though, as the Dolphins' coaching staff hasn't really used him in the same way that Sean Payton used him in New Orleans. The sad thing is, wouldn't more passes thrown to Bush have meant better numbers for the likes of Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill? Wouldn't it have aided in Tannehill's development in 2012?
But how often did you see a play designed for Bush to make a catch out of the backfield? How often did Miami attempt to line him up as a receiver despite the fact that he'd be their No. 1 receiver if that were his position?
Thanks to the lack of imagination shown by Bush's two offensive coordinators in Miami (Brian Daboll and Mike Sherman), Bush managed to be Miami's best playmaker despite the fact that he wasn't utilized correctly.
Because of that, Bush is as good as gone, and for Miami it will be a mistake.
You don't get rid of playmakers, especially when playmakers are so direly needed. The Dolphins should look for a fair deal to re-sign Bush to (it won't be that expensive as running backs aren't in big demand, and for all I know this source could be a Dolphins source looking to create leverage).
Allow him to continue to help Tannehill develop and be a leader in the locker room while being a temporary face of the franchise until Tannehill is ready to claim the mantle, and most importantly utilize him correctly in the passing game, line him up in the slot or even as a wide receiver while putting him on some punt return duties from time to time (splitting his time with Marcus Thigpen, who the Dolphins should also use more in the passing game).
If Miami does all of that, Bush will continue to be an asset to the team and organization, an asset that they desperately need.
Take a look at something else LaCanfora said about Bush in the same piece:
2. Reggie Bush: Could see him signing a short-term deal with a contender.
The Dolphins will be a contender in 2013 if they do their offseason correctly. Re-signing Bush is a small step in doing just that.
Unless of course Bush is asking for an obscene amount of money. In that case, let him walk.