Remember back in 2006, right before the NFL Draft? The Houston Texans were the lead-pipe lock to take USC running back Reggie Bush with the first overall pick. He was a superstud that comes out of college only so often.
But, they shocked the football world and took Mario Williams. Bush fell to New Orleans at No. 2 and eventually helped them win a Super Bowl, even if it wasn’t in the fashion that everyone envisioned on draft day.
The Saints somewhat surprisingly kept him this past year at a base salary of $8 million and certainly didn’t get their money’s worth. He started six games, played in eight and averaged a decent 4.2 yards per carry. But, he totaled 358 yards from scrimmage and had only one TD.
Now, his salary next season (if there is one) will be a little north of $11 million. $11.8 million to be exact. He’s a decent player, but not the stud we thought he’d be, so there is no way the Saints can keep him at that price, is there?
“We’ve talked a lot about the position (internally) because we had a lot of injuries,” said Saints GM Mickey Loomis. “It’s pretty difficult to prognosticate injuries. I’ve got to be a little careful about just because a guy was hurt one year assuming he’s going to get hurt the next. We’re going through that evaluation process right now.”
That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for Bush. It’s a very difficult situation for Loomis and the Saints because Bush wasn’t the only running back they had to get banged up last year. Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas were worthless down the stretch (Thomas was worthless for much longer) and they really needed Bush.
But, $11+ million needed him? Doubt it. Don’t expect Bush back in a Saints uniform unless he agrees to drastically reduce his salary.