In the wake of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft questions surround the futures of a few of the New Orleans Saints current marquee players, running back Reggie Bush and defensive end Alex Brown.
The Saints likely had the biggest draft day of any NFL team yesterday, taking California defensive end Cameron Jordan with their 24th overall pick.
They didn’t stop there however trading back up into the first round to take Alabama running back Mark Ingram with the 28th overall pick.
It was a move made possible by the Patriots, who agree to take the Saints second round pick this year (56) and their first round pick next year for their 28th pick.
Essentially Ingram only cost the Saints a second round pick as the first round picks offset one another.
Almost immediately after the Saints selected Ingram running back Reggie Bush, who has been awaiting what his future is with the Saints barring a new cheaper deal, tweeted “It’s been fun New Orleans”.
Read into it any way you like but he meant to imply his time with team was over now that the Saints took the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.
Bush may have jumped the gun some. After all the Saints have declared their desire to retain him throughout this off season, they just have been unable to start contract negotiations because of the now over lockout.
While it’s mutually understood that as a “pure” running back at the NFL level Bush has failed to produce or become the impact player everyone though he would coming out of USC.
However he wears many hats for the Saints — receiver, punt return, decoy — and in that sense is a valuable member of the offense and one that head coach Sean Payton covets fiercely.
The question now is not if Bush will return to the Saints, but how much of a pay cut he is willing to take to stay with the team. Drafting Ingram is another bargaining chip in negotiations for his new deal.
Quite honestly the Saints could have one of the best running back groups in the NFL if they do retain Bush.
Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram and Reggie Bush should be able to produce copious amounts of yardage and touchdowns for the foreseeable future.