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Your Call: Reggie Bush's future

5/6/2011

Moments after the Saints drafted running back Mark Ingram last week, Reggie Bush sent out a farewell message to New Orleans via Twitter.

Bush apparently thinks Ingram’s arrival signals his departure. But most of you disagree. In our latest Call It poll, we asked you to vote “yes’’ or “no’’ on if Bush will be with the Saints this season.

As of Friday morning's deadline, we had over 4,000 votes and a strong majority (61 percent) said Bush will be with the Saints. The other 39 percent said he’ll be gone.

In this case, I think the majority might be more correct than Bush was in his initial reaction. In fact, I think he might have overreacted in the heat of the moment. There aren’t many things larger than an athlete’s pride and it’s a blow when a team adds a guy that plays the same position.

But every indication the Saints have sent before and after the draft is that Bush is in their future plans. If that happens it almost certainly will require Bush agreeing to some sort of contract extension that would spread out his massive salary ($11.8 million), especially if there’s a salary cap in place because he currently is carrying a $16 million cap figure for 2011.

The Saints probably wouldn’t be able to trade Bush because it’s unlikely they’d find another team willing to take on his current contract. I have a tough time seeing Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis simply cutting the guy they drafted with their first pick as a tandem back in 2006.

Bush never has put up the kind of numbers many expected from a guy who was taken No. 2 in the draft and his career has been limited some by injuries. But Payton always has spoken glowingly about Bush and how his presence on the field is about more than rushing yards. Defenses have to account for Bush whenever he’s on the field and that can complicate things.

Payton loves to complicate things for defenses. The coach has a complicated situation on his hands. But I think the voters are right in predicting that Bush will stay in New Orleans.

As soon as the lockout is over, Payton needs to sit down with Bush. He needs to have the same conversation with Bush that he did with Deuce McAllister shortly after Bush was drafted. Payton told McAllister in very strong terms that there was room for both players in the backfield.

I think there’s room for Bush and Ingram in the New Orleans backfield. Heck, I think there’s also room for Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory.