BY SEAN DONOVAN
But it appears that his biggest one from a year ago may not be a part of those plans.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, it is highly unlikely that the Dolphins re-sign leading rusher and free agent-to-be Reggie Bush. The seven-year-veteran has already expressed his desire to stay in Miami, stating that he feels like he has "unfinished business" with the team. (photo: June Rivera, Flickr)
But it now looks like he may not get that chance.
If Bush walks, the Dolphins will lose their biggest defensive matchup problem from an offense predicated on creating mismatches. In addition, the 28-year-old tailback has been Miami's most productive between-the-tackles rusher for the past two seasons.
Also in this scenario, unless Ireland orchestrates a trade or makes another signing, the running back responsibilities would fall on Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, two unproven backs.
It would seem that the Dolphins are off to a bad start to this offseason, which has been dedicated to surrounding Ryan Tannehill with weapons.
But it may not be as bad as it sounds. Miller had a solid rookie season despite seeing limited action, averaging nearly five yards per carry. People within the organization reportedly have high expectations and even higher hopes for the soon-to-be sophomore back.
Meanwhile, Thomas, while failing to improve his putrid 3.5 career yard-per-carry average during his sophomore campaign, has shown a penchant for converting short yardage situations. And some reports have suggested an expanded role on offense for special teams maven Marcus Thigpen.
However, all of these options lack the experience and leadership qualities that Bush brings to the table, which may be just as missed on this young unit as his spectacular plays and versatility. And with the abundant cap space the Dolphins will have, it would make sense to keep a player that is a factor on and off the field.
In the end, it will come down to a choice between young and cheap or experienced and outbidding the competition in free agency. And Ireland has a long track record of picking the former.
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