According to Scout.com, Reggie Bush and the New Orleans Saints have restructured his initial contract. Reggie's new contract will give him "achievable" incentives for the next several seasons. Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, confirmed that the Saints restructured the tailback’s contract this offseason, but it was more of a bookkeeping issue than anything else. Here are the highlights of the contract:
The team included a $4 million signing bonus as part of the new deal, which runs through 2011, and a $4.5 million roster bonus for the 2009 season.
Bush had four years remaining on his original deal with $10.25 million in salary and $10 million in prorated bonus money scheduled spread out through 2011. But he also had $20 million dollars of “Not Likely to Be Earned” bonuses at a rate of $5 million per year that didn’t count against the Saints’ cap unless he reached those incentives.
While his salary stays the same in 2008, he’ll see a marginal increase in 2009 ($2.2 million to $2.6 million) before making a huge jump from $2.9 million to $8.0 million in 2010. And in 2011, he will receive $11.8 million in salary instead of the $3.575 million that was in his original contract. In addition to the $4 million signing bonus, which adds an extra million dollars to the Saints cap hit for each of the remaining four years, Bush will still have the opportunity to earn $1.5 million in NLTBE bonuses. And he can earn $800,000 more in 2011. But all other NLTBE bonuses have been eliminated.
Instead, the team has put up $1.5 million in “Likely to be Earned Bonus” money for both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and another $700,000 in 2011. All of that money hits the cap immediately when the contract year begins since it’s assumed that the player will reach those goals.
Nola.com reports "the deal was altered primarily to account for potential changes in the league’s collective bargaining agreement, after the league’s owners decided to opt out of the current CBA this past spring. It’s a fairly common practice in the NFL to move some money around in long-term deals."
My guess is the Saints are considering this season as a "make it or break it" year for Bush. The team is also preparing itself for the upcoming free agent "feeding frenzy" in 2010. In either case, I believe Reggie will rise to the challenge as surprise many of his critics this season.
Read more details on DeuceandReggie.com or Scout.com.