New Orleans didn’t have a pick in the NFL draft until the 28th selection, and they used it to go with running back Mark Ingram out of Alabama. Ingram won the 2009 Heisman award while leading the Crimson Tide to the national title, but he had knee injuries during the 2010 season which caused him to drop down the pecking order. But his selection by the Saints likely spells the end of another former Heisman winner with injury woes in New Orleans.
After the Saints picked Ingram, Reggie Bush tweeted, “It’s been fun New Orleans”, which means that he’s looking at other options outside of his current team. Coach Sean Payton is confident that he can persuade Bush to stay with the team (although NFL predictions at BetUs probably wouldn’t include them), but his contract calls for him to be paid $11.8 million next season and that’s a lot of money to pay for someone who isn’t going to play every down. Bush has been battling injuries for two of his first five seasons in the NFL, and he’s the latest in a long line of Saints running backs to try and fight through injuries, as Deuce McAllister, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas have all had troubles staying on the field; McAllister even had to retire because of multiple knee surgeries.
Bush will probably find another spot to land as he is an exciting open-field player, but you have to wonder how much of his explosiveness he has left because of injuries. Without that, Bush isn’t worth almost $12 million a season as he doesn’t have the size to handle the grind of being an every-down back. That’s why Payton probably wants to keep Bush, because Ingram isn’t that much bigger than Bush, and as was mentioned before, he also has issues with his knees, which is why it was a bit strange that the Saints picked him in the first place. It’ll be interesting to see what Payton has up his sleeve in regards to this situation, although we don’t doubt that he can. It’s going to take a lot of convincing to keep Bush in the Big Easy.