2011 Fantasy Football: The Dynasty Future of Reggie Bush

Ken KellyContributor IIIJuly 16, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 05:  Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Saints won 34-30.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I remember watching Reggie Bush in college and thinking to myself, “I have to find a way to get him on my dynasty league squad.”  Bush was a transcendent talent—a once in a lifetime prospect who could run, catch and return like few we’d ever seen before.  

What’s transpired since those glory days at USC has been a career full of disappointment, injury, heartache and Kardashian sisters.  Owners now ask themselves a new question in regards to Reggie. ”I have to find a way to get him OFF my dynasty league squad.”

What happened?

I remember the draft season well that year.  I was home much of the time with my newborn daughter and all the pundits kept saying Reggie Bush was the consensus No. 1 pick, regardless of who had it.  I watched NFL Live every day and was constantly the same story. After all, he had just finished a season at USC that saw him bring home the Heisman trophy and record 1,740 rushing yards on 8.7 yards per carry, 478 receiving yards on 37 catches and compile a ridiculous 2,218 yards from scrimmage with 18 touchdowns.  He was the next Barry Sanders, right?

Not so much.

When Mario Williams was selected No. 1 overall, most people thought the Houston Texans were crazy. Remember the Jets trying to trade their entire draft in Ricky Williams-like fashion to get a shot at a now sliding Bush and the Saints saying no?  Reggie was supposed to be the gift to the New Orleans city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and the Saints had him fall in their laps.  Just think, the best offensive prospect in the last decade and he was all theirs.

Reggie’s five-year NFL career with New Orleans has been extremely up and down.  His rookie season was solid, but not spectacular.  He played in all 16 games, posting 565 rushing yards and 742 receiving yards on 88 catches.  His eight total touchdowns were also acceptable for most, just not for a player who was supposed to be the next big thing.  Unfortunately for the Saints, his rookie season has been one of his best.

Over the next four years, Reggie has been constantly in and out of the lineup, missing a total of 20 games due to various injuries.  He has difficulty staying healthy and has shown an inability to run up the middle, bouncing runs constantly to the outside where NFL players have the ability to run him down, unlike when he was in college.  

His ability to catch the ball in open space has been a huge asset, but he’s become more of a decoy of late with players like Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory dominating the backfield.  In essence, Bush has become an extremely high paid third down back.  In fact, he’s ranked all the way down at No. 36 in the Dynasty Essentials Guide.

As we look toward the future, Reggie Bush finds himself as a free agent.  Who would have ever imagined he’d be one of the less coveted players on the open market?  Bush is in a precarious position.  While he’d love to stay with the Saints, he’s stuck in the middle of a crowded backfield with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and the newly drafted Mark Ingram.  Re-signing with New Orleans would guarantee more years of mediocrity.

On a positive note, Bush has been said to have been working out harder than ever in an effort to prove he can still be the player many though he could be.  He’s been quoted as saying the turf in New Orleans has been a prime reason for his injuries.  He’s also been quoted as saying he’d love to restructure his contract to stay there.  In the end, the situation is too tough to read.

My assumption is that Bush and New Orleans will have a very hard time finding a number to agree on.  If Bush were to really test the open market, there are a few teams out there who could be suitors for him.  The Steelers and the Dolphins are two teams who could use a nice pass catching option at running back, and the Giants could be in the market as well depending on what happens with Ahmad Bradshaw.

Regardless, Reggie Bush is destined to be a disappointment to any owner who drafted him as their savior back in 2006. Let’s hope he finds a good situation and stays healthy.  If he could ever recapture the magic, he’s one of the most exciting players in all of football.

At this point, you just can’t give up anything in value, even in a PPR league.