Less than an hour after the division-rival Packers parted ways with a former top-five pick, the Lions have done the same, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Detroit has released running back Reggie Bush from his contract, allowing him to hit the open market.
Bush, who turns 30 next week, spent the last two seasons in Detroit. The former second overall pick had an excellent season in 2013, racking up more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage in just 14 games, establishing a new career high. However, he was plagued by injuries in 2014, and wasn’t overly effective when he did play. Overall, Bush accumulated just 297 yards on the ground and another 253 through the air in 11 games.
Having inked a four-year, $16MM contract two years ago, Bush had been under contract through the 2016 season. A total of $3.556MM in dead money will now count toward the Lions’ cap in 2015, assuming the team doesn’t designate Bush as a post-June 1 cut. The move creates a little over $1.7MM in cap savings, which the club could put toward re-signing Ndamukong Suh or another free agent.
As for Bush, despite his age and his injury history, he still has some upside. He certainly won’t land another $16MM contract, but the former USC star should receive some interest on the open market, particularly since he can visit teams immediately rather than having to wait another two weeks.
The Lions currently have Joique Bell, Theo Riddick, and George Winn under contract at running back, and look like a decent bet to add an inexpensive rookie to their backfield during the draft this spring.