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2009 could be Reggie Bush’s last year in New Orleans

The Saints steamrolled the Patriots on Monday night despite the absence of running back Reggie Bush, who has never come close to meeting expectations driven by his stellar college career at USC.

The team’s performance without Bush could come in handy in the offseason, if/when the Saints are trying to persuade the locals that parting ways with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft is the right thing to do.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports says that the team likely won’t bring Bush back next year, when his base salary rockets (per NFLPA records) from $2.585 million to $8 million.

He’s simply not worth $8 million next year. He’s probably not worth $2.585 million this year.

In 3.5 seasons, Bush has 1,827 rushing yards and 1,806 receiving yards. Not horrible numbers, but not nearly worth $8 million for one season.

So unless Bush is willing to accept a stiff pay cut, he’ll be playing elsewhere next season. The real question is whether some other team will be willing to pay Bush more than the best offer the Saints would put on the table.