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Bush contract negotiations

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; DOTTED-LINE DANCE Both sides are quiet as the Saints and Reggie Bush continue talks, and it may take a while before the No. 2 overall pick is signed Wednesday, July 19, 2006 By Mike Triplett The Saints are eight days ...

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Old 07-19-2006, 07:13 AM   #1
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Bush contract negotiations

DOTTED-LINE DANCE
Both sides are quiet as the Saints and Reggie Bush continue talks, and it may take a while before the No. 2 overall pick is signed
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
By Mike Triplett
The Saints are eight days away from the start of training camp, but it's still far too early to expect any progress in the Reggie Bush contract talks.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Bush's agent, Joel Segal, have declined to discuss details of the negotiations.

"We are making progress," Loomis said of the entire Saints' rookie class, of which three of the eight have either signed or agreed to terms. "I expect the majority, if not all, of the rookies to be done in time for camp."

The Saints agreed to terms with fifth-round pick Rob Ninkovich on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed. A former Purdue defensive end, Ninkovich, 6 feet 2, 252 pounds, had 16 sacks during his junior and senior seasons.

As for first-round draft picks, only one has signed a contract -- top overall choice Mario Williams, who agreed to his deal with the Texans before the draft. Ten players in the second and third rounds had agreed to deals through Tuesday.

These things always come down to the wire in the NFL. And sometimes they last much longer.

Take a look at the top five picks in last year's draft, for example. No. 1 choice Alex Smith signed with the 49ers on July 26, and fifth pick Carnell Williams signed with Tampa Bay on July 29.

But No. 3 pick Braylon Edwards didn't sign until Aug. 11. No. 2 choice Ronnie Brown followed on Aug. 15 and No. 4 pick Cedric Benson held out until Aug. 29.

It's anyone's guess how long it will take the Saints to reach an agreement with Bush, whom they selected with the No. 2 overall pick.

The Heisman Trophy-winning tailback originally stressed that he wanted to do "whatever it takes" to get into training camp on time, but later he clarified that it will be a sound business decision.

Obviously, I would like to be in training camp on time," Bush said last month. "But at the same time, that's the difference between college and the NFL. It's a business now, and that's the way you have to look at it.

"Obviously, in a perfect world, I would love to be in camp on time with a great contract and all that. I'm sure the Saints would, too. Hopefully we can come to an agreement soon and get past that and play some football."

Bush was expected by most to be the No. 1 overall draft pick. It is believed that he will seek a contract in the range of Williams' six-year, $54 million deal, which reportedly includes $26.5 million guaranteed in the first two seasons, and a team option for a sixth year.

Bush has already secured several million dollars in endorsement deals with adidas, EA Sports, Hummer, Pepsi and Subway. He has appeared on national commercials and will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in this week's fantasy football preview issue.

But there are two schools of thought as to how that high profile could affect Bush's motivation to sign a deal with the Saints. Bush can financially afford a hold out. But he also can afford to leave a few dollars on the table, and he doesn't want to risk negative publicity that might come with contentious negotiations.

Chances are Bush's deal will be for five or six years, between $40 million and $50 million, with between $20 million and $25 million guaranteed.

Last year, No. 1 pick Alex Smith, a quarterback, reportedly signed a six-year deal worth $49.5 million with $24 million in guarantees. No. 2 pick Brown reportedly signed a five-year deal worth up to $34 million, with $19.9 million guaranteed. And No. 3 pick Edwards reportedly signed a five-year deal worth up to $40 million, with close to $18 million guaranteed.

The Saints have four other draft picks they would like to sign before the team reports for camp in Jackson, Miss., on July 27: second-round pick Roman Harper, fourth-round pick Jahri Evans, sixth-rounder Mike Hass and seventh-rounder Zach Strief.

They signed seventh-round pick Marques Colston last week and agreed to terms with sixth-rounder Josh Lay on Monday.

. . . . . . .

Mike Triplett can be reached at mtriplett@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3405.

I know violence isn\'t the answer,
I got it wrong on purpose !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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