Bush agrees to six-year deal with Saints
Financial terms of the contract, which will be signed on Monday, were not yet available. But based on discussions with NFL sources throughout Saturday, as the two sides moved closer to the accord, it appears that Bush's contract will easily exceed the one signed earlier this week by Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young, and will come very close to the deal for top overall pick Mario Williams.
Agent Joel Segal, who hammered out the accord over the last few days, would only confirm late Saturday that he will travel to Jackson, Miss., site of the Saints' training camp at Millsaps College, to meet with New Orleans officials there. He will be joined by Bush, who is flying in from Los Angeles. Bush is expected to arrive in Jackson on Monday afternoon.
It is doubtful that, given the travel involved and the time that it will take for all the parties to review what is expected to be a very lengthy contract document, Bush will practice on Monday.
For a while on Saturday night, it appeared that an agreement would not come until Sunday, as the two sides approached a deal, but still had to pore over a substantial amount of complicated data. But Segal and Saints negotiator Russ Ball forged ahead and came to an agreement at about 10:30 p.m. ET.
It is not known how much impetus was provided by the contract to which Young, the third overall selection in the draft, agreed this week. Young received $25.74 million in guarantees from the Titans, slightly less than the $26.5 million in bonuses that the Houston Texans awarded Williams.
Bush was the second player chosen and had missed the first two days of training camp practices.
Before the discussions heated up on Thursday, the two sides had discussed framework and concepts, and perhaps even floated some dollar figures.
Compounding the negotiations for the Saints was the fact that Bush, who has embraced the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans and already made several sizeable donations to charities there, has banked $5 million-$7 million in various endorsement contracts negotiated by Mike Ornstein, his marketing agent.
That certainly alleviated the urgency for Bush to sign a contract quickly, since he already has considerable cash flow.
Bush said during the team's rookie minicamp in May that he wanted to be in camp on time and that he had instructed Segal to attempt to accomplish that goal. But only a few days later, Bush clarified his remarks, telling ESPN.com that any contract had to be a sound business decision.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .
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