NFL: Grading the Most Meaningful Free Agent Signings

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Detroit Signs Reggie Bush

Despite winning a Super Bowl and putting up some decent numbers, Reggie Bush’s career hasn’t been what it was supposed to be. He can change that in Detroit with the Lions.

Dec 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) spikes the ball after his touchdown run against the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson set a record with 1,964 receiving yards in 2012, and he made lots of big plays to follow up a 2011 season in which he caught an incredible 16 touchdowns. However, the Lions running game didn’t do enough to complement the passing game, which factored into the Lions going 4-12.

Matthew Stafford ranked second in the NFL with 4,967 yards passing, and in 2011, he threw for 5,038 yards. While Stafford was intercepted 17 times in 2012, he and Johnson were a dynamic duo that wreaked havoc on defenses.

Bush is the same type of explosive player, as he is very explosive and can break tackles. Bush averaged 4.7 yards per carry (YPC) during his time in Miami, and can do even better with the threat of Stafford throwing to Johnson. The Lion offense will be very explosive in 2013, and they could bounce back and make the postseason partly because of this signing. While Bush’s YPC doesn’t put him up there with Adrian Peterson, it shows that he is a good running back.

Detroit finished third in total offense in 2012, but they were 23rd in running. Bush could improve that while helping the Lion offense and improving the team. Detroit’s point differential was about -4, meaning that they lost a lot of close games. They have the talent to do well, and they definitely are better because of this signing.

Even if Bush doesn’t pan out, the Lions are only committing $16 million over four years. He isn’t making a huge dent in the payroll, so even if he doesn’t perform well, it won’t be the worst thing in the world. There isn’t much risk in this signing, but there is a high reward.

The Lions aren’t that far away from contending, and the Bush signing is a step in the right direction. Detroit got a steal and they got him cheap, which is always a successful formula.

Grade: A