Another twist in Reggie Bush saga

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
2:39
PM ET
Interesting report from Jason Cole that the New Orleans Saints gave running back Reggie Bush and his agent permission to talk to other teams before the lockout started.

The report said Bush was told by several teams that they’d be willing to pay him more than what the Saints were offering at the time. Bush technically remains under contract to the Saints, but is scheduled to earn $11.8 million in base salary and carry a $16 million salary-cap figure.

Coach Sean Payton talked extensively about the situation at the NFL owners meeting in March and sounded very optimistic that the Saints could sign Bush to a new contract that would knock down this year’s base salary and cap figure. That was before the Saints used a first-round pick on Mark Ingram.

But, immediately after the draft, Payton again said he still saw Bush as part of the team’s future. Bush sent out a farewell tweet soon after Ingram was drafted and has not taken part in the players-only workouts the Saints have been holding.

I’ve said all along I think Bush will stay in New Orleans, but I’m not feeling as strongly about that now. I still think there’s a chance things can be worked out if Bush and Payton sit down and talk things out as soon as the lockout ends.

But Bush’s actions and this latest report have me thinking it’s possible he could be on his way out of New Orleans. The Saints have a crowded backfield with Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Lynell Hamilton. If Bush really doesn’t want to be in New Orleans, then there’s no sense in keeping him.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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