The Miami Dolphins offense has struggled mightily in 2012, but one of the lone bright spots for the 26th-ranked offense in the NFL has been running back Reggie Bush. As such, the team team will try to re-sign Bush this offseason when he becomes a free agent.
The Miami Herald reported Sunday night that the team wants to bring Bush back in 2013, but only if the price is right. Before the 2011 season, the team signed him to a two-year deal worth $9.75 million with incentives.
Bush earned $4.5 million in 2012 with a $275,000 bonus for participating in offseason workouts. His performance over the last two seasons, by far his best as a pro, could raise his price tag significantly.
If he gains 40 yards against the New England Patriots next week, Bush will surpass the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second straight season. The last Dolphin to do that was Ricky Williams in 2002 and 2003. In his first five seasons (with the New Orleans Saints), Bush never topped 600 yards rushing.
Bush also gives the Dolphins crucial yards in the passing game, as he demonstrated with his two receiving touchdowns against Buffalo on Sunday.
But Bush will likely have other suitors besides the Dolphins, which would make him a more expensive option. A source told the Herald that the team's interest in re-signing Bush is not absolute. Even though the Dolphins will have approximately $40 million worth of salary cap space this offseason, there are so many other areas in need of addressing that overpaying for Bush is not an option.
The Dolphins are expected to look for upgrades at wide receiver and defensive secondary, and would also like to shore up the offensive line. Franchise left tackle Jake Long will be a restricted free agent this season, but the Dolphins are unlikely to place the franchise tag on him (which would lock him in for 2013 at a salary of $15.4 million).
Regardless, Bush has been the team's best weapon on offense for two seasons. He has accounted for 23% of the Dolphin's all-purpose yards, as well as 8 of Miami's 28 offensive touchdowns. Backup RB Lamar Miller has shown some promise in limited action, but Bush is light years ahead of him in receiving and pass-blocking ability. He has also shaken off the injury concerns that dogged him in New Orleans.
He won't come cheap, but re-signing Reggie Bush is a no-brainer for Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.