The New Orleans Saints insist they aren’t planning to run Reggie Bush out of town now that they have a new Heisman Trophy-winning tailback in Mark Ingram.
What remains to be seen is whether Bush has his own travel plans.
Bush was not reached for comment Friday to expand on his infamous Thursday night tweet, “It’s been fun New Orleans.” And his agent Joel Segal, who also represents Ingram, declined to comment on Bush’s future with the team.
But clearly Bush is concerned that he will become even more minimized in a Saints backfield that is suddenly overstocked with Ingram, Bush, Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory.
And ultimately, the decision about where Bush plays in 2011 will be up to Bush.
Although he is under contract with the Saints for one more year at $11.8 million, the Saints probably won’t bring Bush back at that price tag. And it is also extremely unlikely any other team would trade for him at that price. So he’ll either need to agree to a new contract with the Saints, or they will allow him to leave and become a free agent.
Saints Coach Sean Payton reiterated Friday that the Saints believe they will keep Bush in New Orleans, and he said he spoke with Bush on Friday about the team’s plans for him.
Reggie Bush still in New Orleans Saints’ plans, Sean Payton says: video
New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said he spoke with tailback Reggie Bush on Friday morning and shared his vision for the running back with the team.
“It was similar to the talk I had with (former Saints tailback) Deuce McAllister in 2006 after we drafted Bush. The player just needs to know what vision you have for them,” Payton said. “No. 1, we’ve kind of always separated the skill set of Reggie Bush. There’s so many unique things he does and brings to that position.”
Payton also complimented Thomas, saying he believes he will bounce back strong from offseason ankle surgery. Then he mentioned Ivory and stressed that the Saints know it’s important to have depth at the position, and that they need to get back to the pass-run balance they had during their Super Bowl season two years ago.
That’s nothing new from Payton, who has talked throughout this offseason about the Saints’ need to improve their run game and their desire to keep Bush in the backfield.
Until Thursday night, it seemed as if the feeling was mutual. Back in January, Bush talked about his desire to stay in New Orleans, even though he knew that would require a substantial pay cut.
“I’m open to whatever,” Bush said after the 2010 season. “My No. 1 goal is to be back here, be a New Orle