It's somewhat understandable because Bush is scheduled to make $12.8 million this season and currently, would count $16 million against a potential salary cap in the last year of his first contract.
"Reggie's a guy that we feel will be part of our team." said Payton.
The coach went on to say that decision was made before the lockout.
As we finished the season and began to look at our roster and began to look at targets and how our team fits, he's a guy that we want in the fold." said the coach.
It's pretty obvious how this will play out. Once there is labor peace, there's almost no chance the Saints can afford to carry Bush's $16 million cap figure.
Bush has missed 20 games with injuries since joining the Saints. Last season, he rushed 36 times for 150 yards and zero touchdowns. He caught 34 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown. He was out most of the season with a broken fibula.
Bush is considered by many as a draft bust.
"Reggie's got a pretty good grasp of the economy and where he's at," said Payton. "That's a big strength, especially when a player knows who he is and the type of team he's with. That's a not a sure thing because there might be another suitor possibly, but I think he has a genuine desire to play here. The feeling is mutual,"
Oftentimes players' pride gets in the way when they are asked to take a pay cut. But Bush seems to understand that his market value isn't the same as it was when he was the No. 2 over-all pick in the draft coming out of USC in 2006,
For the Saints and Reggie's agent agreeing to a contact will take a little bit of time once we're operating again and talking with the players and agents," said Payton. "But I think that's something that has a chance to be done. There will be a number, We just have to find that number that both sides are comfortable with."
by Ed Staton