July 28, 2011

It's been fun, Reggie: Bush traded to Miami

The Saints have agreed to a trade with the Miami Dolphins that will send Reggie Bush to the spotlight of Miami.

Bush, craving a minimum number of touches (reportedly 15) per game and desiring to emerge from the crowded Saints depth chart at runningback, was due to hit the Saints' cap for $16 million in 2011.

Crucial to the deal was the cross-continental negotiation of a new contract for Bush, who had to agree to a new contract with Miami.  Bush's new contract is a two-year, $9 million contract with $5 million due in 2011.

The Saints will still carry a $3.5 million cap hit of dead money as part of Bush's prorated signing bonus, but will have cleared $12.5 million in cap space.  That roughly doubles Mickey Loomis' available cap space for the season.

The Saints have new traded two San Diego-born, high draft pick, Heisman Trophy-winning runningbacks to Miami in the past decade.

New Orleans would have received the same cap hit and savings had they cut Bush outright.  Many believed they would, but Miami completed a trade in order to assure themselves of winning a bidding war with other interested teams, such as St. Louis and Philadelphia.  The Saints are also happy that Bush will not be in the NFC, and Miami isn't scheduled to play them in the regular season until 2013.

The deal cannot be officially completed until Friday at 5pm central time.

Part of the trade will send second-year safety Jonathon Amaya, who led the Dolphins in special teams tackles as a rookie in 2010.  Undrafted out of Nevada at 6'0, 203, 4.43, Amaya made Miami's practice squad after training camp in 2010 and was promoted to their active roster in late October.

When pressed into playing safety, Amaya struggled in coverage for the Dolphins.

The Saints, whose primary special teams players are all hitting free agency, have added Will Herring and now Amaya as direct actions to shore up kick coverage and return teams.

UPDATE: The Saints received Amaya and, according to Sean Payton on Thursday, "a swap of undisclosed draft picks" that are reportedly based on Bush's 2011 performance.

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