The Saints Need to Make a Decision on Reggie Bush

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Bush may be released if his current contract isn't reconstructed
Reggie Bush has been a valuable weapon for the Saints when healthy

The New Orleans Saints did the inevitable last week when they waived veteran tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Now the Saints have another matter to deal with: Reggie Bush.

The former second pick of the NFL Draft is coming off an injury-plagued season, and is set to make $11.8 million in 2011.

That's a lot of money to shell out to a player who only played half the season and with a Pro Bowl quarterback, Drew Brees, expected to command $15 million per season.

If the Saints and Bush don't agree to a renegotiated contract, expect the team to release him, and devote the money they would allocate to Bush to other pressing needs.

To suggest Bush has not lived up to expectations would be misleading.

Under head coach Sean Payton's system, multiple players are involved in the offense, basically denying the influence of one or two players on the overall offense's production, aside from Brees.

Bush often acts as a decoy, and sometimes a blocker, and has proven to be quite valuable at both, though he's been generally failed as an inside-the-tackles running back.

The former USC running back has also been injured throughout his Saints' career, having missed eight games last season, and 20 over the course of his five professional years.

When he has played, he's been effective as a rusher, receiver, and punt returner.

But he's also played behind other talented backs. Deuce McAllister, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Mike Bell have all been valuable contributors.

It would not be in the Saints' best interest to cut Bush before the new collective bargaining agreement takes shape.

Bush may test the waters to see what other teams can possibly offer him, but more than likely he will stay with the Saints, but under a reconstructed contract.

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