Bush is the hardest-working player on the Dolphins. He’s not one of the hardest-working. He is the hardest-working player on the team. He doesn’t miss practices and after those are over, he’s pulling a sled or running sprints or catching passes on his own.
Philbin joked that after one practice this week, he was eating a hamburger in the team lounge when he looked outside “and [Bush] was still on the practice field working,” the coach said. “So he’s been impressive.”\
A few weeks ago, before he exploded onto this 2012 season, Bush was seemingly being set up as a player who was going to be replaced after this season. He is in the final year of his contract and not only had the club not talked to super agent Joel Segal about a new deal, but also, Miami drafted Daniel Thomas in the second round last year and this year added highly regarded Lamar Miller in the fourth round.
In the world of well-run NFL franchises, that’s how it is done: You acquire a running back. Use him up. Then you let him go before having to spend big money on what is increasingly a diminishing asset in today’s pass-happy NFL.
But now that course might change. After Bush went off against Oakland, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland and Segal talked about having future contract discussions. Call it the preliminary step toward re-signing Bush.
The question now is two-fold:
• Can the Dolphins afford to keep their best player before he hits free agency?
• Can the Dolphins really afford to potentially lose their best player to free agency?
If Bush continues his current trajectory and the Dolphins retain him, it should surprise how their plans shifted. Then again, Bush has been surprising.
He’s certainly not what anyone really thought he was.