Nine years later, the Miami Dolphins have again traded for a New Orleans Saints running back who won the Heisman Trophy.
This time it’s Reggie Bush.
The Dolphins completed a trade for Bush on Thursday by negotiating a new contract with him. Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed the deal, which sends reserve safety Jonathon Amaya to New Orleans and also involves an exchange of undisclosed draft picks.
Miami acquired former Heisman winner Ricky Williams from the Saints in 2002, with mixed results. He won an NFL rushing title with the Dolphins, but they haven’t won a playoff game since that trade.
Bush agreed to a two-year contract for nearly $10 million with the Dolphins, a person familiar with the negotiations said. The person confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn’t announced the deal.
Bush was due about $11.8 million this season, the final year of his Saints contract. It would have been difficult for them to justify paying that given their salary-cap constraints.
“Change is never easy but I look forward to building something special in Miami and can’t wait to embark on this new journey!” Bush said while sending a series of tweets. “To the city of New Orleans you will always have a place in my heart. ... I love you guys you are my family & I will never forget our good times. ... I wish the New Orleans Saints the best of luck I will always be a fan! The team, coaches, and fans will be deeply missed!”
Trade talks with Miami began late Wednesday. Bush’s agent, Joel Segal, worked with Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland until after 2 a.m. Thursday on the terms of a new contract.
Later in the morning Bush agreed to the deal and was en route to Miami. The Dolphins begin practicing today, but because Bush signed a new contract, the NFL’s post-lockout calendar requires he wait until Aug. 4 to join practice.
Miami sought a running back to pair with second-round draft choice Daniel Thomas out of Kansas State. Last year’s leading rushers, Williams and Ronnie Brown, are free agents.
The Dolphins remain in the market to acquire a quarterback to compete with Chad Henne for the starting job, and they’ve reportedly talked with the Denver Broncos about acquiring Kyle Orton.
The Saints hope Amaya can contribute as a punt returner. He signed with Miami as an undrafted rookie free agent last year and played in 10 games, all off the bench.