When the Saints drafted a new Heisman Trophy-winning running back in Mark Ingram, the Heisman Trophy-winning running back they drafted five years ago went on Twitter to say his time in New Orleans was done.
But Saints coach Sean Payton says not so fast: He thinks there’s room for Reggie Bush and Ingram (not to mention running backs Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory) to play in the same offense. And he says he told Bush that on Friday.
“It was similar to the talk I had with Deuce McAllister in 2006 after we drafted Bush. The player just needs to know what vision you have for them,” Payton said. “No. 1, we’ve kind of always separated the skill set of Reggie Bush. There’s so many unique things he does and brings to that position.”
Payton has a point: Although they’re both running backs, Ingram and Bush aren’t particularly similar as players, so it’s not as simple as saying that Ingram would be replacing Bush. There are plenty of ways for a creative offensive mind like Payton’s to make good use of both Bush and Ingram.
But there’s a much more important reason for Bush to be on the way out: Money. Bush is owed $11.8 million this season, and he’s simply not a good enough player to command that kind of salary. Getting rid of Bush will be about the Saints’ payroll, not their depth chart.