METAIRIE, La. — Rafael Bush wanted the No. 36 when he was signed by the New Orleans Saints this past weekend.
Fans in the greater New Orleans metropolitan area wanted him to take the No. 25.
After all, many already had No. 25 Saints jerseys with the name Bush on the back, even if they were for Reggie and not Rafael.
But the Bush who plays safety is fine with the No. 25, which the Saints handed to him, if it saves the fan base a few greenbacks.
“I guess if you want to put it in that perspective, I guess so,” Bush said. “There’s a lot of die-hard Saints fans who were very good fans of Reggie Bush before he got traded and whatnot. Now that they’ve got the opportunity to bring their jerseys back out, I think they are saving money.”
From 2006-10, Reggie Bush donned No. 25 for the Saints after the team took him with the No. 2 overall pick. But he was traded to the Dolphins prior to the 2011 season.
Bush the safety, meanwhile, has bounced around the NFL since being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2010 by Atlanta. Denver picked Bush up from Atlanta’s practice squad in October 2011. He was back in camp this season with the Broncos, but was waived during the final cut process on Aug. 31.
“I honestly thought I did pretty well in Denver as far as this training camp,” Bush said. “I showed some ability. But it’s a business at the end of the day. I thank the organization for the opportunity. But at the end of the day we know it’s a numbers game and you have to respect that.”
Bush, though, put enough good plays on video tape that the Saints were willing to sign him off of waivers, cutting Jonathan Amaya, who was with the team during the 2011 season.
The safety got a good New Orleans scouting report from former Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, who signed with the Broncos in free agency.
“Oh yeah,” Bush said. “He was the first one that I talked to after finding out that the Saints claimed me.”