Adam Schefter is reporting that the Detroit Lions have released running back Reggie Bush. The move comes as no surprise considering Lions general manager Martin Mayhew admitted last week that Bush's status going forward was up in the air. Clearly the Lions weren't sold on bringing Bush back for another season, and now he's a free agent.
There are really two big reasons behind the Lions' decision to cut Bush. For starters, the move saves them slightly more than $1.7 million in cap space for 2015. They could actually increase that savings to $3.5 million by designating Bush a June 1 cut, but they wouldn't actually see that extra space until June 1. As a result, it's safe to assume that this is a traditional release that will give them an extra $1.7 million in cap space right now.
The other big reason behind this decision is that Bush's play no longer matched his contract, which was set to pay him $3.25 million this year and $3.75 million next year. It wasn't just a matter of needing to create cap space; Bush simply was no longer worth the deal he signed in 2013. Back then, he was viewed as the missing piece to the Lions' offense, and he ran for more than 1,000 yards and added more than 500 yards as a receiver in his first season in Detroit. Last year, however, Bush struggled with injuries and had only 550 total yards from scrimmage. His contributions were greatly diminished, and he was passed on the depth chart by Joique Bell.
With Bush out of the picture going forward, Bell is the clear starter at running back. Theo Riddick should now see an increased role, and chances are the Lions will look to add some extra help at running back in the draft.
According to the NFL transaction wire, Reggie Bush's release was a straight up cut with no other designations. #Lions— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) February 25, 2015