Another reminder that free agency is an ever-evolving picture came on Wednesday when veteran running back Reggie Bush was released by the Lions.
Two questions then came to mind: Would the Patriots be interested? And, if so, how might this affect negotiations with soon-to-be-free-agent Shane Vereen?
A few thoughts:
Bush, who turns 30 on March 2, would project to the same type of role in the Patriots' offense as Vereen. He is still a top pass-catching back when healthy and that is something the Patriots value highly. Bush had 94 receptions over the past two seasons, while Vereen had 99. Vereen turns 26 on March 2 (sharing the same birthday as Bush).
If the price was equal, Vereen would be the choice because he's younger and already a proven fit in the offense. But the price likely wouldn't be equal, with Vereen -- from this viewpoint -- in position to command more because he's entering his prime years. So then the question becomes something like this, "Would you rather have Vereen over the next four years at around $4 million per season, or Bush for the next one or two seasons at possibly around half that total?"
Offensive coaches Brian Daboll and Dave DeGuglielmo have a history with Bush, having coached him in 2011 with the Dolphins. Any time a player has a history with a member of the coaching staff, and that history is a productive one, it is notable.
Timing could be a factor, as free agency begins March 10. If the Patriots have a sense they might lose Vereen regardless, would that expedite talks with Bush as a possible replacement?
This is part of the fun of covering an NFL team, and attempting to view things from a management perspective.
The sudden availability of Bush, as it relates to Vereen, sparked these thoughts.