Heading into his eighth season with the team, Bush has seemingly hung on because of his special teams skills and his usefulness in filling the void when injured starters can no longer play. It seems, like a cat with nine lives, he’s found a way to survive.
But it seems it’s more than that … in fact, the Packers thought so much of Bush last season that they extended his contract three more years at an average of $1.75 million per year.
That seems like an awful lot for a special teams player, doesn’t it? Maybe, maybe not.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s had his moments. He has excelled on special teams and has added to the team’s strength in that category. But as a cornerback, he’s been suspect. It seems that during his time on the field throughout his career during spot starts, but mostly as a nickel back, Bush has been nothing great, but has, overall, been adequate.
But is his time running out?
With a clear direction toward youth in the defensive backfield, Bush is suddenly the old guy back there. Along with fellow undrafted free agent Tramon Williams, Bush is facing the fight of his life to make the Packers’ 53-man roster. With the likes of Sam Shields, Casey Hayward, Davon House, rookie Micah Hyde, and James Nixon both Williams and Bush will have to fight harder than ever to land a spot.
And I’m afraid that Bush’s claim to fame – as a special teamer – won’t be enough to save him this time. With the rising star of Hayward, the potential of House and the talents of Shields, I can see most of the playing time going to the younger crowd.
In seven seasons, Bush has missed just two games, but his overall stats are pretty thin. He’s got 1.5 sacks, three interceptions, 88 tackles and 17 assists – certainly not highly impressive.
And maybe it’s worth $1.75 million …
In my mind, the writing is on the wall. Unless Hayward, House, and Shields fall completely off the train, I just can’t see the Packers hanging on to an aging player like Bush. That’s not the way Ted Thompson does things.
The only way Bush makes the team is if he’s switched to safety – where many feel he is better suited – but he would have to compete with J.D. Jennings and Jarron McMillian, two players who showed improvement the past year.
So, what is Bush’s future?
Right now it’s looking pretty tough for #24, but he’s been in this spot before and has hung on. Will that be the case again this year?