Michael Bush might be restricted free agent

July, 5, 2011
7/05/11
4:00
PM ET
There has been a lot of confusion on whether Oakland running back Michael Bush will be an unrestricted or a restricted free agent if players with four years of service will be unrestricted free agents once the lockout ends.

Bush

Bush


It has been reported that Bush will be unrestricted. However, Fox Sports reported late last week that Bush will be a restricted free agent. He was drafted in 2007, but he missed his first reason because he was on the non football injury list. He has played three NFL seasons.

According to two NFL sources I spoke to Tuesday, the current expectation is, indeed, that Bush will be restricted in that scenario. Again, nothing will be official until the lockout ends and there is still a gray area, but it looks like Bush might be restricted.

That would be a break for the Raiders. They want to retain Bush and they have several other free-agent issues facing them. Bush would likely be very popular as an unrestricted free agent. The restricted free-agent market rarely moves.

So, if Oakland can keep the Bush-Darren McFadden running tandem intact (the Raiders had the No. 2 running attack in the NFL behind Kansas City last season), it would be very helpful in a year the Raiders could potentially lose Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Michael Huff in addition to Robert Gallery, who has already announced he will leave as a free agent.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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