Could Reggie Bush Be A Seahawk In 2010?

Reggie Bush and Kim KardashianIn case you haven’t heard, there’s a rumor going around linking New Orleans’ Saints running back Reggie Bush to the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, fo’ realz.

Logically, it makes sense for a number of reasons.

One, the Seahawks recently hired Bush’s college coach at USC, Pete Carroll, a guy who Bush would likely love to play for again.

Two, Bush makes his home on the west coast, and for you geography majors out there (me being one of those, no joke), Seattle is in fact located on the west coast.

Thirdly, the Hawks are in need of running backs, and wouldn’t you know it, Reggie Bush is exactly that. He’s not half bad, either.

And finally, in extracurricular news, Seattle is a mere two-hour plane ride from Los Angeles, where Bush’s longtime girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, makes her home. As anyone who has seen Kim Kardashian Superstar can attest to, Kim is the type of girl that any millionaire athlete would love to be closer to. (And on a side note, that video should be presented as a ‘how-to’ in high school health class. Call it Fellating For Dummies, or something like that.)

From the Seahawks’ perspective, uniting with Mr. Kim Kardashian makes all the sense in the world.

But does it make sense for Reggie?

And what about the New Orleans Saints?

Currently, Bush is in the fourth year of a six-year, $52.5 million contract that he signed as a rookie in 2006. With two years remaining on the deal, Bush will not become a free agent until after the 2011 season.

But the Saints are in a bind with Bush’s salary and need a quick fix to solve their financial situation.

In 2009, Bush counted for over $12 million on New Orleans’ salary cap, essentially making him the second-highest paid player on the team (behind Drew Brees at $14 million). For a timeshare tailback who carries the load with two other alternatives (Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, both more cost-effective than Bush), Bush is being compensated at a much higher rate than most NFL players in similar situations. Which has to make you wonder what the Saints will try and do to rectify this little money problem.

New Orleans’ options are more or less limited to the following:

1. They could stand pat and let Bush play out his contract as is. In 2010, Bush’s base salary will account for $13.5 million on New Orleans’ cap. With incentives, his compensation for the year could be pushed over $15 million, effectively making him the highest-paid player on the Saints’ roster in the process.

2. They could attempt to renegotiate Bush’s deal by signing him to a contract extension. This process would be three-fold. One, the Saints would first have to weigh whether Bush is worthy of an extension. Two, the Saints would have to present the idea of an extension to Bush. And three, the Saints and Bush would have to agree on the terms of the extension and the balance of the money involved. Not an easy process by any stretch of the imagination.

3. The Saints could trade Bush. This would involve finding a willing trade partner who would then have to be okay with taking on the remnants of Bush’s bloated contract. Or, this could involve some sort of sign-and-trade deal, whereupon Bush would essentially ink a contract extension with his new team before ever playing a game for them.

4. The Saints could release Bush. This would rid them of his contract, but would result in their receiving no compensation in return. Upon his release, Bush would become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any of the NFL’s 32 teams.

As it stands right now, the most likely scenario is probably No. 2, in which the Saints would renegotiate a deal with Bush.

Despite the difficulty in reworking a contract, both Bush and the organization are likely aware of a few things:

1. Bush is coming off arguably his best season in the pros.

2. In spite of his previous inconsistencies, Bush is still viewed as one of the more talented young backs in the NFL.

3. Bush is a former first-round pick who is one of the faces of the Saints’ franchise.

4. Losing Bush would be a tough pill to swallow for the Saints’ fan base.

Based on those four points alone, one would have to imagine that retaining Bush would be an absolute priority for the New Orleans Saints.

But by revisiting the initial four options in dealing with Bush’s contract, we must take into account that 50% of those options involve Bush leaving New Orleans for a new club (either via trade or release). And with Seattle considered a player in the Bush sweepstakes, should he become available, you have to like the Hawks’ chances of landing the talented 24-year-old.

Reggie Bush in a Seahawks uniform would signify a new beginning for the team’s depleted running back corps.

Along with third-year tailback Justin Forsett, Bush would form the other half of a young, speedy tandem of rushers (each with Pac-10 ties, no less — Forsett with California, Bush with USC).

Bush’s mere presence would energize the Hawks’ offense, making them a more dangerous team on the ground and in the air, where his receiving skills could be put to use out of the backfield. If nothing else, this facet of Bush’s game would take pressure off an underwhelming receiving corps, as well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Finally, adding a veteran back via trade or free agency would allow the Hawks to address a position of need without squandering a pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. With so many positions of emphasis going into this year’s draft (basically every spot on the field, minus kicker and punter), the Seahawks can ill afford to groom a young tailback when so many other holes must be patched first.

For now, though, we are left only with a rumor and a dream. With New Orleans’ 2009 season yet to conclude, the Seahawks, their fans, and Bush himself will be made to wait on any contract situations until the Saints are eliminated from playoff contention.

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