In the midst of an extra cloudy forecast for the 2011 NFL off-season, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton still expects to retain running back Reggie Bush. "He's a guy that we feel will be a part of our team," Payton recently told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. However, Bush is scheduled to make $12.6 million for the 2011 NFL season, a figure which is expected to be reduced, and for good reason, to a number where both sides can agree upon a salary for his return in the upcoming season.
Coach Payton most likely treasures Bush more than any other NFL club ever would and feels confident in his future with the Saints in part because he expressed desire to remain in New Orleans. Bush also knows the offense like the back of his hand and works well within the scheme that coach Payton instigates. The lockout currently stalls all transactions so clearly this won't be settled right now, but it seems like the team had previous discussions with the talented versatile situational back and his agent prior to the lockout and will inevitably continue once the smoke clears.
Pierre Thomas signed an extension prior to the labor disputes and Chris Ivory looks to be on his way back in 2011 as well. This presents a solid three-man rotation for the Saints' running game and absolute havoc for every opponent on the schedule. In the meantime, all eyes point to the Saints still potentially bringing in another back through the draft, possibly even in the early rounds.