Bushrod: Saints know I want to stay

Posted June 16, 2011 @ 1:40 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

OLT Jermon Bushrod would like to stay with the Saints, the four-year veteran told PFW this week, and he has been attending workouts with Saints players at Tulane University this offseason. However, Bushrod isn't certain that he'll by playing for New Orleans in 2011.

Bushrod, a free agent, has started all but two games for the Saints over the past two seasons.

"I would love to be in New Orleans," he said. "I love the situation we have going. We have great fans, great coaches, great players, great leaders, great city. I enjoy it there, my family enjoys it there. I would look forward to being there for a while, but who knows what the future holds?"

Bushrod's free-agent status is not yet clear. He could be unrestricted when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached, but he'll be restricted if the league operates under the same free-agency rules as it did last season. The Saints extended a second-round tender to Bushrod before the lockout. In the event that he is restricted when the lockout is over, the Saints would be able to match any offer made to Bushrod or receive a second-round pick as compensation for his departure.

Bushrod, who turns 27 in August, would intrigue some teams looking to fill a need at left tackle if he were to hit the open market, but he said he's interested in staying in New Orleans. The Saints, however, are grooming Charles Brown, a second-round pick in '10, and he might get the first shot to start at left tackle if Bushrod departs.

"I would love a long-term deal," Bushrod said. "I'm really looking forward to continuing to play in New Orleans. Whether they want to work something out or not, I have no say so in that.

"They know that I want to be there and they're happy with me. Hopefully one of these days we can get something done."

The Saints would like to keep Bushrod for another season and give Brown more time to develop, but the team will have to consider whether it views Bushrod as the long-term answer at left tackle if he becomes unrestricted.

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