Is it Time to Let Bush Play Elsewhere?

For the money he’s making and the amount of time he spends on the field, many Saints fans feel it’s time to let running back Reggie Bush ply his trade somewhere else in the NFL. And you can’t blame them really, considering his stats.

The 26-year-old Bush is under contract for another season and is due to take home $11.8 million. But he doesn’t really earn it according to many. He’s been in the league for five seasons now, but has only managed to play all 16 games just once, which was his rookie year. He’s missed 20 games since then, including half of last season.

When he does play, he doesn’t really have much of a positive impact in many games, especially the big ones. The Saints wildcard defeat by Seattle last season was a prime example when he carried the ball five times for just 12 yards, and caught five passes for a total of 37 yards, not to mention dropping the ball on a possible early touchdown and then leaving the game with another injury.

There’s no doubt Bush has some talent, but he only shows glimpses of it. He’ll make a great play, but not on a consistent enough basis to make the big money. He didn’t score a rushing touchdown last season and scored just one as a receiver. He didn’t score one as a punt returner either.

This puts him near the back of the class when you realize 100 players scored rushing touchdowns and 50 others scored them as receivers. You can’t really single out the punt returns, but 10 players managed it. However, his punt return average was 6.6 yards, good for 52nd place in the league. In fact, if you study the numbers you’ll find Bush’s don’t translate to anywhere near $11.8 million.

The Saints could use Bush as just a slot receiver/kick-punt returner as he doesn’t seem to have it as full-time running back. It’s doubtful he’d succeed as a wide receiver. If he’s used as a kickoff returner his chances of being injured would increase though.

The Saints say they want to keep Bush and head coach Sean Payton says he’d be surprised if he leaves. However, Bush wasn’t too pleased when the team selected Mark Ingram with the 28th overall pick in the recent NFL draft. It looks like Ingram could be the starter, followed by a battle between Bush and Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory is also in the backfield. But Payton said Ingram doesn’t have any effect on Bush’s future with the Saints.

The numbers say differently though, and it’s likely they’ll ask Bush to play for less or just let him go. Bush himself tweeted a message after the draft that would indicate he’s on his way out the door because it’s unlikely he’ll take a pay cut.

Bush is a luxury that the Saints and many other NFL teams can’t afford. It would surprise many if he’s still a Saint when next season starts. They should just cut him loose if he won’t play for less and let him explore the market.


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2 Responses to “Is it Time to Let Bush Play Elsewhere?”

  1. Lyn says:

    I say give him one more chance with the Saints. Offer him a price they think is fair. If he walks,then he walks. I just really hate to see him go to another team because of how well he played when they won the superbowl. The lockout is not helping matters. The longer they lock the players out, the more the fans get discouraged. The players will have less time to get ready for the season. This could mean even more injuries. Obviously the owners do not seem to care.

    • I agree with you, Lyn. I like Reggie Bush. Having him on the field has been a matchup nightmare for defenses trying to figure out how to guard against him. He’s caught some bad breaks on the injury front, but that’s nothing he could control. But, $11.8 million he will not get. Let’s hope that they can work something out. On the same note, I hope they can work out the numbers with Lance Moore as well because he too is valuable to the team. At any rate, lets hope this lockout can hurry up and end so we can get back to the game we love. Thanks for your comment, hun!

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