Even before the Saints signed running back Pierre Thomas to a four-year extension in March and traded back into the first-round of the 2011 NFL Draft to draft running back Mark Ingram, Reggie Bush’s future with the team was in doubt.
The second overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft has battled injuries over the last four seasons, and is coming off his least productive season, gaining just 358 yards from scrimmage with one touchdown and returning 14 punts for 92 yards.
Due $11.8 million in base salary, the highest among NFL running backs, Bush tells Nakia Hogan of The Times-Picayune that he is willing to restructure his contract, and his goal is to remain with the Saints.
“I want to be back with the Saints. I think our No. 1 priority is to stay with the Saints, restructure a deal where both sides are happy,” said Bush. “It’s just about getting this lockout out of the way so we can do that.
“So right now, everybody is kind of stuck in limbo right now. I can’t talk to the team. I can’t talk to the coaches. So it’s weird. A whole offseason without football is kind of weird.”
Last month, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Saints had given Bush permission to speak to other teams in February. Bush immediately denied the report to WWL in New Orelans, and repeated the denial on Friday.
“That’s not true,” Bush said of the Yahoo! Sports report. “If it’s anything, it’s the opposite. (The Saints) don’t want me talking to other teams. Before the lockout began, they expressed that they want me back, and once the lockout ended we were going to do everything to make sure I was still with the Saints.”