Saturday might have been the official start of the NFL’s three-day negotiating period, but it brought little in the way of real news.
Except this: Reggie Bush’s days with the Dolphins appear to be over.
As expected, the market for Bush has proved to be strong, with three teams contacting Bush’s representation on the first day allowed, according to a source close to the running back. The salaries discussed are said to be significant.
However, the Dolphins are not one of those teams showing interest, and Bush categorically will not return to the team in 2013, the source added.
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Although the news shouldn’t be a surprise — it has become clear over the past few months that the Dolphins intend to go forward with Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas — it might still be unsettling for many fans. Bush was a popular player, both locally and nationally, and was the closest thing the team had to a true star.
Detroit and Arizona are among the teams said to have interest in Bush, 28.
Since joining the Dolphins via trade before the 2011 season, Bush has averaged 1,036 rushing yards per season and has scored 12 touchdowns.
In other news, three leaders have emerged in the Sean Smith sweepstakes: the Buccaneers, Patriots and Cardinals. Other teams are in believed to be in the mix, as well.
As for Jake Long, the Dolphins did not show any urgency in re-signing him Saturday morning. Like Bush, Long and Smith appear destined to play elsewhere next season.
Finally, add Bryan McCann to the list of Dolphins who will soon be out of contract. General manager Jeff Ireland notified McCann late last week that the Dolphins do not plan to offer the restricted free agent a tender of any sort. McCann, who played in eight games for Miami last season, will explore his options in free agency, although a return to Miami down the road is a possibility.
As far as free agents not currently on Miami’s roster, there hadn’t been much contact between the Dolphins and Greg Jennings’ representation as of Saturday afternoon. Jennings and Mike Wallace are widely seen as the top two wide receiver options on the market.
FoxSports.com reported Saturday that the Dolphins have the early lead in the race to land Wallace, in part because of South Florida’s warm climate.
Anquan Boldin also could be an option; USA Today reported Saturday that Boldin rejected Baltimore’s offer to restructure his contract, and the Ravens could cut him to free up cap space.