Saints RB Bush contract details Jimmy Smith 7/29/2006
JACKSON, MISS. - Saints first-round draft choice Reggie Bush agreed to terms on a five-year contract Saturday night, with a one-year option, meaning he will likely report to camp late today or first thing Monday morning, a source familiar with the negotiations said.
The agreement ends a two-day holdout.
Bush’s deal likely will be in the neighborhood of $60 million with just more than $26 million guaranteed.
Earlier Saturday, a source familiar with the negotiations said the two sides were close after studying the terms of the contract Tennessee draft pick Vince Young signed with the Titans on Thursday.
Bush’s agent Joel Segal and the Saints front office saw the contract Young signed in Tennessee and eliminated doubts that Young’s first-year agent, Major Adams, had somehow negotiated a bad deal.
“But it’s as it has been stated,” the source said. “They’re getting there (in the negotiations). It’s a little better. That’s what they were waiting for and now that they’ve seen it, they can go off the two contracts. Now they’ve just got to come in at the right number.”
Houston signed first draft pick Mario Williams to a five-year, $54 million deal the night before the NFL Draft, including $26.5 million in guaranteed money.
A league source said Saturday that it’s possible Williams could earn a total of $62 million over the course of his contract.
On Thursday, Young, the third player chosen overall, signed a five-year contract that could be worth $58 million, including his guaranteed cash.
That puts Bush, the second pick in the draft, directly between the $26.5 and $25.740 figures in terms of guaranteed cash and possibly with a contract that could total $60 million.
It’s likely he’ll command something more than $26 million, but, because of the unwritten code of the slotting system, will have to settle for less than Williams’ $26.5.
“I would hope that by Monday or Tuesday, Reggie would be there,” the source said. “The good news for Reggie is that Vince Young’s contract is a good one. That’s more important than anything. With the slotting system the way it is, you’d think this was now a no-brainer.”
Bush, who entered the second day of his holdout by missing both of Saturday’s workouts here at Millsaps College, remains in Los Angeles, working out daily and awaiting the outcome of the talks between Segal and Saints senior football administrator Russ Ball.
Segal did not return telephone calls on Saturday.
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis declined comment on Saturday.
Saints head coach Sean Payton said after Saturday’s second practice, when asked if he’d like to see Bush in camp soon, “What do you think?” Payton laughed.
“I think both sides are working hard to get it resolved, and I think sooner than later. I think everyone of us, if you’re a Saints’ fan, you’d want that. Certainly if you’re a head coach of the Saints, you’d want that.”
Of the first seven picks in the 2006 draft, only Bush remains unsigned. In all, nine of the 32 first round draft picks have not yet come to terms.