Will Michael Bush remain in the AFC West?

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
6:45
PM ET
The odds now favor Michael Bush leaving the Oakland Raiders in free agency.

The team opted to give safety Tyvon Branch the franchise tag. That means Bush is likely on his way to free agency. A key backup, the Raiders would likely want to keep Bush in a perfect world. But because the Raiders have other needs and will likely have some cap limitations, Bush might get a better offer elsewhere.

Let’s see if he fits in with the other three teams in the AFC West:

Denver: I would list Denver as the favorite in the division to land Bush, and among the favorites in the league to sign him if he leaves Oakland. I think this is a perfect fit. The Broncos have a need at the position, and will likely draft a running back early if they don’t address the position in free agency. The Broncos were the No. 1 running team in the NFL last season. Going from one strong running offense to another would likely appeal to Bush. The Tim Tebow-led offense is best when the Broncos run the ball. Pairing Bush with Willis McGahee -- who was a star last season -- would likely be attractive to everyone involved. It would allow Bush to be the primary back, and allow McGahee to go back to a secondary role, where he might be best suited because of his age (he’ll turn 31 during the season), and because he suffered several injuries last season.

Kansas City: This would be a similar situation to Oakland. Like he was to Darren McFadden, Bush would be a bigger, change-of-pace and injury option for Jamaal Charles, who is coming back from a torn ACL. The Chiefs have a lot of money to spend, so perhaps they’d be able to convince Bush to sign there.

San Diego: The Chargers, who tried to trade for Bush a few years ago, could be interested if they do not re-sign Mike Tolbert.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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