New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has no doubt about quarterback Drew Brees’ future with the franchise.
The same can’t be said of running back Reggie Bush.
While not offering specifics, Loomis said Wednesday that a contract extension will ultimately be finalized with Brees. The Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLIV is entering the final year of a six-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2006. Brees is set to earn $7.4 million in base salary in 2011.
"It’s pretty clear that we’re going to want to have Drew under contract for the long term," Loomis told me and co-host Jim Miller on Sirius NFL radio. "I know that will happen at some point. He knows that will happen at some point."
Loomis, though, didn’t make the same strong commitment when asked about Bush. Although a big-name player and key part of the team’s 2009 Super Bowl run, Bush is set to earn $11.8 million in 2011. He also is coming off an injury-plagued 2010 campaign.
Bush has publicly said he is willing to renegotiate his exorbitant rookie contract to remain with New Orleans, which made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft. The question now is whether Saints management wants him and at what price.
"We’ve talked a lot about the position (internally) because we had a lot of injuries," said Loomis, whose team lost quality rushers like Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory and Ladell Betts during the course of the season. "It’s pretty difficult to prognosticate injuries. I’ve got to be a little careful about just because a guy was hurt one year assuming he’s going to get hurt the next. We’re going through that evaluation process right now."
The Saints’ quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions ended with a first-round upset loss at Seattle. Loomis, though, is proud of the team’s 11-5 record — especially considering the pressure New Orleans faced as the NFL’s defending kingpin.
"I thought we had a good season," Loomis said between practices at the Senior Bowl. "Obviously, it wasn’t a great season because we’re not preparing to play (in the Super Bowl). But 11-5, that’s hard to accomplish. I was real proud of our coaches and players. We were getting (opposing) teams’ ‘A’ game every week. I thought we handled that pretty well."