With the 2013 edition of free agency in the National Football League underway in earnest, a few deals have come as relative surprises, but with running back Reggie Bush, it was a case of the rumored front-runner winning out.
The 28-year-old Bush, who gained over 1,200 total yards for the Miami Dolphins in 2012, inked a four-year, $16 million contract with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, a deal that Bush told Tim Twentyman of the team's website was an easy decision for him:
I think the No. 1 thing that stuck out was the way they wanted to use me and it just made sense. It felt right. Everything we talked about, we were on the same page and the way we thought about football - and when I say 'we', I'm talking about Coach Schwartz and Coach Linehan - and it all just made sense.
It's a move that many saw coming for quite some time, and the reaction to the signing has been almost universally positive.
Mark Schlereth of ESPN pointed out that Bush's ability as a receiver could come in handy in a Detroit offense that likes to throw the ball to the running back.
mark schlereth @markschlereth
Reggie Bush in Mo Town is a nice fit!! May catch 50 balls2013-3-13 17:19:10
ESPN radio's Mike Greenberg also hailed the signing, while passing along a comment from Bill Polian, who apparently believes that Reggie Bush can help can help take the Detroit offense to an entirely new level.
Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny
I think this is a great signing... RT “@SportsCenter: BREAKING: RB Reggie Bush has agreed to terms with the #Lions."2013-3-13 17:25:23
Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny
Polian: With Reggie Bush, #Lions will be the greatest show on turf.2013-3-13 20:09:15
The NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah continued the theme, that theme being that bringing Reggie Bush on board was a very shrewd move by the Lions.
Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks
In 2011, the Lions started off the season 5-0 with Jahvid Best in the lineup. Reggie Bush will fill that role. Love this move!2013-3-13 17:29:09
Kevin Seifert, who covers the NFC North for ESPN, went into some more detail about how Bush could potentially fit in with the Lions, and Seifert also mentioned that Bush's arrival in Motown has also caused a stir among fantasy football enthusiasts:
The pending deal has enthused Lions fans and fantasy owners alike, all of whom envision the impact of a speedy tailback in an offense built around receiver Calvin Johnson and anchored by quarterback Matthew Stafford. All you have to do is go back to the 2011 season to see the opportunity the Lions and Bush offer each other.
That season, Lions tailback Jahvid Best was on pace for about 1,800 all-purpose yards -- including a 1,000-yard rushing season and more than 70 receptions -- when he was sidelined in the sixth game by a concussion that seems to have ended his career. Bush is the first suitable replacement the Lions have employed since Best's concussion.
Bleacher Report NFC North Lead Writer Andrew Garda was also a fan of the signing, giving it a "solid A" and echoing the sentiments of many that Bush should be an excellent fit in the Detroit offense:
For sure, he will be an excellent addition to this offense. He can catch the ball as well as run it, something which will make him a very productive player and could help this offense continue it's prolific ways. His ability to catch the ball might also help overcome a potential deficit of talent at wide receiver.
In case you haven't noticed, there's that theme again.
In fact, some pundits in the Detroit area thought the Reggie Bush signing overshadowed some of the other big news of the day.
Bob Wojnowski @bobwojnowski
White smoke from the Vatican moments after Lions introduce Reggie Bush. People, this cannot be a coincidence.2013-3-13 18:12:51
Terry Foster @TerryFoster971
Does this make me a bad guy? I care more that the Lions signed Reggie Bush than the Vatican electing a pope. #honolulublueoverwhitesmoke2013-3-13 18:16:49
And so it continued. Not only was Bush's talent on the field a big factor in the applause over his signing, but Mike Freeman of CBS Sports also felt that it could have a huge effect on one of the NFL's more dysfunctional locker rooms.
mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL
Was told this again: Lions players really wanted Bush. Some Lions players think Bush can stabilize locker room in dire need of it.2013-3-13 17:20:26
Simply put, there's not much to dislike about this deal. Reggie Bush not only fills a need at running back, but his skill set would seem to fit the Lions offense extremely well.
Will it be enough to get the Detroit Lions back the playoffs? That remains to be seen.
But it's certainly a step in the right direction.