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Reggie Bush takes shot at Lions, calls them cheap

Lions Wire logo Lions Wire 6/20/2019 Max Gerber
a group of baseball players playing a football game: Getty © Getty Getty

In a tweet on Wednesday night, former Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush stated that the team released him and teammate Joique Bell "because they wanted to go cheaper."

The tweet was in reference to an image stating that the duo of running backs was the only pair of teammates in NFL history to have over 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a single season.

Bush signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Lions in the 2013 offseason. Despite the four-year contract, he only played for two seasons in Detroit. In that time, he ran 299 times for 1,303 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. He also caught 94 passes for 759 yards, reaching the end zone three times.

Bell joined the Lions at the end of the 2011 season and became the team's second option at running back by the next season. He and Bush made a record-setting combination as the respective power and speed running backs on the roster. In his six seasons in Detroit, he ran for 2,235 yards on 561 carries, as well as 1,638 receiving yards on 162 receptions.

A little over two months after releasing Bush in 2015, the Lions selected running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round of the draft, essentially replacing the veteran. This could be what Bush meant by "go cheaper" as Abdullah's total earnings in three seasons in Detroit is almost equal to the dead money from releasing Bush. The Lions also signed undrafted free agent Zach Zenner that year, who is still with the team.

The two rookie running backs, along with Theo Riddick and Bell, were not able to replicate the same production in 2015 that Bush had in the seasons prior. In fact, no Lion running back was able to rush for 100 yards in a game for several seasons until Kerryon Johnson did in Week 3 of the 2019 season.

So was Bush right about the Lions going cheaper? Abdullah, Zenner, and Riddick were all on their rookie deals. Bell had no guaranteed money on his $2,500,000 contract when he was released in the 2016 offseason. The team simply did not spend any big money on the running back position for several years after Bush's release.

Even Darius Slay agrees:

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