It’s no secret that Reggie Bush’s days as a Saint could be numbered, despite having massive potential and a name that actually resonates beyond the football field, Bush’s cap number and his durability have basically set him up to be the odd man out in New Orleans. After all, the Saints just spent a first round pick on Mark Ingram, the most hyped player to come out in the NFL draft since Bush.
Bush’s 2011 cap figure is a robust 11.8 million dollars, making him amongst the highest paid running backs in all of football. The Saints hope to move Bush in a trade, but his massive contract and the compensation the Saints would probably be looking for (at least a third round pick) will likely force the Saints to simply cut Bush when league business begins. This is exactly the scenario NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora envisions too.
No other running backs in the game are making this kind of salary right now, especially not a situational player. The Saints are deep in the backfield and moved up to draft Mark Ingram. There will be significant interest in Bush. I can’t see him back in New Orleans, getting six to eight touches at best a game, when he can get 12-15 elsewhere.
Now consider the position of the Buccaneers, a team with a very talented young offense and a bruising every down back. The biggest addition the Bucs could make to their offense right now would be a change-of-pace back to challenge the defense outside and give the team a valuable target out of the backfield. That role is exactly what Reggie Bush does. Not only is Bush one of the most elusive players in the entire NFL in open space, but his body-type and playing style would almost perfectly accent that of LeGarrette Blount.
The Bucs are going to need to spend money this offseason anyways just to get up to the salary floor. Bush is 26 years old, he runs a 4.33-40 and he’s exceptional both as a receiver out of the backfield and a return-man. The biggest knock on LeGarrette Blount right now his lack of ability as a receiver, he’s almost always replaced on third-down. Reggie Bush is one of the best pass-catching backs in football. He would be an absolutely perfect weapon for Josh Freeman in obvious passing situations.
During the draft I mentioned the Bucs should take a shot at Jacquizz Rodgers or Noel Devine to augment what Blount already does, but Bush would be a cut above either of those options. It’s not a slam dunk, obviously, as many feel Reggie Bush has been and always will be overrated. But given an opportunity to come to Tampa and take revenge on the Saints, I really do think Reggie Bush would fit into the Bucs offensive philosophy without sacraficing their ideas about building for the future around youth.
Is Reggie Bush a fit in Tampa? If the price is right, absolutely.