It was announced late Wednesday evening that running back Reggie Bush, the New Orleans Saints number one pick and the second over all selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for their second and third round picks in the 2010 draft.
“Due to the free-agent signing restrictions imposed on our team and the other three that played in conference championship games combined with the necessity of addressing holes in our defensive front-seven, we felt this was the right move to make,” said Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Not mentioned in the impromptu press conference at the Saints training facility on Airline Drive was Bush’s enormous salary, which was $7,089,940 with bonuses in 2009 and will be $8,000,000 in 2010.
Though not burdened with a salary cap, the Saints play in one of the league’s smallest media markets limiting the team’s capacity to pay big salaries while also trying to lock down core restricted free agents on long-term deals.
The move by the Saints isn’t surprising as many league observers doubted the Saints would hold on to a talented player with explosive potential that lacks the durability to be an “every down” back.
Despite not playing anywhere near the lofty expectations that generated seven-figure endorsement deals before he played a single snap, Bush remained one of the most popular players on the team and in the game. Bush’s number 25 jersey has consistently sold well locally and nationally.
One pigskin expert thinks Saints fans should be happy about the move. Edwin Gauthier, a writes a weekly sports column for yahoosports, thinks the move is a win-win.
“Bush’s contributions to the team were significant but limited,” said Gauthier. “Irregardless of what Loomis and (Sean) Payton have said, Bush’s time in the Big Easy was drawing to a close.”
Citing his high salary and Bush’s desire to play in a bigger media market, Gauthier thinks the Saints will be able to parlay the Chief’s two early picks into addressing gaps in their defensive line, a weak point for the Black and Gold’s run defense.
“Bush is an expensive player. The Saints had to tank an entire season to land him in the draft and they had to make him one of the highest paid players on the roster to keep him for as long as they have,” said Gauthier. “That said, Bush is going to do three big things for the Chiefs: one invigorate their offense overnight; two, excite their fan base; and three, raise the team’s profile nationally even without Kim (Kardashian) at his side.”
But will Bush stay in the City of Fountains beyond the two years left on his hefty contract?
“That’s between Reggie and Scott Pioli (Kansas City’s general manager,” said Gauthier.
One thing is for certain: the celebrithete probably won’t appreciate this april fool’s joke.