We find these truths to be self-evident when discussing Saints running back Reggie Bush:

  • He will either be traded (very likely) or take a major pay cut (less likely) when such things are permitted again in the NFL.
  • He doesn’t enjoy having a Heisman winning player drafted at his position. This is either because he’s insecure (very likely), or because he’s jealous of Heisman winners who actually get to keep their trophy (also very likely).
  • He took a steep step down from Kim Kardashian.

The former USC stud is due to make $11.8 million next year during the final season of the six-year rookie contract he signed in 2006. Look at that dollar figure for a moment, and then look at the number of regular season games he’s missed in his five-year career (22) and his all-purpose yards in 2010 (482 split between receiving, rushing, and kick returning). Need any more time to figure out why he’s probably played his last game in New Orleans?

The 26-year-old’s imminent departure or massive pay cut certainly hasn’t been a secret, especially after the Saints drafted Mark Ingram. Bush said in May that he’s willing to re-negotiate his contract, but now it seems that the Saints loosened his leash before the labor blackout started.

Citing three unnamed sources, Yahoo’s Jason Cole reports that in February New Orleans gave Bush permission to contact other teams to gauge his trade value. During this process New Orleans reportedly continued to work on the details of a restructured contract.

Those same sources confirmed what has been obvious for quite some time: Bush expects to be playing elsewhere next season.

Bush and agent Joel Segal were told that a number of teams would be interested in paying him handsomely, or at least more than the Saints have apparently been willing to offer at this point. That is one of the reasons that Bush has made contradictory statements about his future in New Orleans and didn’t participate in offseason workouts with Saints players. The expectation from Bush, according to the sources, is that he will be playing for another team next season.

The timing of this actually works out quite nicely. Now we can stop speculating about the futures of Plaxico Burress and Terrelle Pryor, the latter being the most excruciating since he hasn’t taken a single NFL snap, and there isn’t much faith in his ability to be an NFL quarterback. At least we can speculate about something else now until the lockout is finally and mercifully over. One of Cole’s sources said the Giants, Dolphins, Steelers, and Seahawks are the most likely candidates for Bush’s services.

Of the potential Bush destinations if he does indeed leave The Big Easy, Miami gets my vote. The Dolphins have two soon-to-be free agent running backs in Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, and used their second-round pick to select Daniel Thomas. Some insurance in the form of a versatile, pass-catching RB to compete with and push the younger Thomas may be just the tonic for a Miami backfield with a very uncertain future.

Running back is clearly a position of need, and the Dolphins will be aggressive in trying to address the void left by Williams and Brown early in free agency. But they may be aiming higher than Bush (think DeAngelo Williams).

Another option then lies in the northwest, where Bush could be re-united with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll while splitting carries with a rejuvenated Marshawn Lynch. Lastly, New York’s interest hinges solely on their ability to resign Ahmad Bradshaw.