“Signability” reasons allowed the New Orleans Saints to select Reggie Bush second overall in the draft. The dynamic Heisman Trophy winner, who ultimately had to give up his award for eligibility reasons, played the first five seasons of his career with the Saints, returning punts and splitting time at running back.
In his first year with the team, Bush was an X-factor player with big play potential who confused defenses and opened up the offense. He had 742 yards receiving to go with 565 rushing yards. The triple threat also had 216 return yards and the sky was the limit for Bush with the Saints.
Unfortunately, Bush proved to be highly susceptible to injuries and would never play another complete season for New Orleans. He broke the 500 yard mark just once more for the Saints, and despite a respectable yards per attempt average, his potential was never realized in New Orleans. He was used more scarcely as time went on and soon left in favor of the Miami Dolphins.
With Miami, he prospered. He has more than 2,000 yards rushing with the Dolphins in two seasons while averaging 4.7 yards per attempt. In just two years with the Dolphins, Bush nearly has the same rushing yardage he had with the Saints in five. He is also arguably the most dangerous receiving threat on the Miami roster as well. Health concerns became less of an issue overall, with Bush playing in 31 of a possible 32 games.
With Bush achieving success and entering free agency this offseason, it is easy to second guess the decision to let him walk. While he never would have achieved the same statistics if he stayed in New Orleans, he is still a dynamic player. New Orleans was right to not pay for potential because injuries and a lack of use were holding him back.
Now that they’ve seen what he can do, however, his relatively quick exit from New Orleans could prove regrettable. New Orleans still doesn’t have a running game and Bush is a 1,000-yard threat with big play ability. His receiving ability would also fit in wonderfully with the New Orleans offense.
So yes, the New Orleans Saints made the right decision letting Reggie Bush walk, but wouldn’t it be interesting if they brought him back as a free agent?