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Reggie Bush tells amazing draft story about Sean Payton

Reggie Bush looks on

Jan 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Reggie Bush at NFL Network press conference at Georgia World Congress Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the 2006 NFL Draft process, Reggie Bush and his representations were certain the running back would go No. 1 overall to the Houston Texans. However, the night prior to the draft, plans changed when reports said Houston intended to select Mario Williams instead.

That decision set in motion a flurry of activity which included Bush’s agent calling New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. The agent informed Payton that Bush wanted to go No. 3 overall to the New York Jets and asked that New Orleans pass on the running back.

As Bush recalls, Payton did not receive that request well.

“So my agent called Sean Payton and was like, ‘Don’t draft us. We not coming. Don’t draft us, all right?,'” Bush said on the I AM AN ATHLETE Podcast. “And Sean’s like, just verbatim, ‘F–k you. I’m drafting Reggie Bush.’ And hung the phone up. Swear to God, hung the phone up.”

Although Bush was intrigued by the marketing opportunities in New York, a post-draft call from Saints quarterback Drew Brees helped him feel more at ease. Then, after seeing the city as they recovered from Hurricane Katrina, Bush realized he was in the right spot.

“When I look back on it,” Bush said, “Thank God I went to the New Orleans Saints.”

Bush spent five seasons in New Orleans before stints with the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, San Francisco, 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He retired following the 2016 season and inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 2019. Maybe things worked out just fine for him.


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