Devin Bush

Browns Sign LB Devin Bush

Devin Bush is headed back to the AFC North. Bush left Pittsburgh last year to sign with the Seahawks, and after one year on the west coast, Bush is finding his way back east. According to Mary Kay Cabot of, Bush will return to face his former team twice in 2024 as a member of the Browns.

The signing came shortly after Bush visited Cleveland yesterday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In the afternoon following the visit, Bush signed a one-year contract to return to the AFC North. Not only is Bush making a return to his former division, but he also makes a personal return to Cleveland, a city in which his father, Devin Bush Sr., played the final two years of his career.

Formerly the 10th overall pick of the 2019 draft out of Michigan, Bush joined the Steelers, who had been searching for a replacement for former linebacker Ryan Shazier after he suffered a serious spinal injury that would eventually end his NFL career. Bush showed promise as a rookie, starting all but one of his 16 game appearances. In that first season, Bush broke the 100-tackle mark for the only time in his career and delivered other statistics in interceptions (2), passes defensed (4), forced fumbles (1), fumble recoveries (4), and tackles for loss (9) that still stand as career highs. He finished third in votes for the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

In his sophomore season, Bush suffered a torn ACL in a Week 5 matchup against the Browns. While he was able to bounce back and start 14 games in 2021, the Steelers ultimately decided to decline Bush’s fifth-year option, making that fourth season his final year in Pittsburgh. After a similar season the following year, Bush departed for Seattle on a one-year, $3.5MM deal. In Seattle, Bush played a reserve role behind Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks. He made three starts for the Seahawks while only playing 21 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

In Cleveland, Bush will have an opportunity to compete and return to another starting job. Former Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks was signed to fill one of the holes created from the departures of Sione Takitaki and Anthony Walker to the Patriots and Dolphins, respectively. Bush should be given a chance to start alongside Hicks and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Seahawks, LB Devin Bush Agree To Deal; Team Still In Play For Bobby Wagner?

MARCH 22: Bush’s one-year deal is worth $3.5MM, per’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter). The former top-10 pick will receive the bulk of the money ($2.99MM) guaranteed.

MARCH 17: The Seahawks hosted a few players on free agency visits Thursday. Devin Bush stood out to the team, and the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reports the veteran linebacker agreed to a deal.

A former top-10 Steelers draftee, Bush joined Julian Love and Lonnie Johnson on Seattle visits. GM John Schneider had recently said the inside linebacker position was an area of concern for the team, and Bush will be en route to help address it. This late-night agreement is a one-year pact, per Condotta.

Although Bush started 48 games during his Steelers rookie-contract years, this agreement will double as a flier. Pittsburgh reduced the former No. 10 overall pick’s playing time last season and revamped its inside linebacker group this week. Bush will also join a team that has seen some movement at the position. Seahawks 2022 starter Cody Barton signed with the Commanders.

The Steelers held high hopes for Bush. They traded up 10 spots with the Broncos, who drafted current Seahawks tight end Noah Fant at No. 20, in 2019. That move marked the first time Pittsburgh had moved up in Round 1 since selecting Troy Polamalu in 2003. Bush racked up stats as a rookie (109 tackles, nine TFLs, two INTs, four fumbles recoveries) but saw a 2020 ACL tear blunt his momentum. Over the past two years, the Michigan product ended up playing his way out of Pittsburgh.

Pro Football Focus graded Bush as a bottom-tier linebacker in 2021, as he struggled to return to form. While the advanced metrics site ranked the young defender just outside the top 50 at linebacker last season, the Steelers used him on career-low 62% of their defensive snaps. The team did not pick up Bush’s fifth-year option in 2022, sending him to this year’s market.

But Bush, he of a 4.43-second 40-yard dash time back in 2019, does not turn 25 until this summer and could become an important cog for the 2023 Seahawks. Barton is gone, and top linebacker Jordyn Brooks is recovering from an ACL tear sustained in January. The former first-round pick will be a candidate to the start the season on the reserve/PUP list.

The Seahawks have also been linked to a reunion with Bobby Wagner. The recent Rams cap casualty should still be expected to reside on the radar for a Seattle return, Condotta adds. Schneider and Pete Carroll have spoken with Wagner about a possible return, despite the team releasing him on the same day it traded Russell Wilson last year. Wagner asked for his Rams release, seeking to join a team in better position to contend in 2023. Despite the NFC West rivals’ statuses going into last season, the Seahawks suddenly look to be in a better contention spot. If Brooks is not back to start the season, the Seahawks will almost definitely need to make another starter-level linebacker addition.

Seahawks To Host LB Devin Bush, S Julian Love, DB Lonnie Johnson

On Day 2 of the 2023 league year, the visit stage of free agency appears upon us. The Seahawks will act accordingly, being set to host two defenders coming off their respective rookie contracts.

Linebacker Devin Bush and safety Julian Love will head to Seattle for summits with Seahawks brass Thursday, Adam Schefter of tweets. The Seahawks have been busy along their defensive front but have thus far waited out the markets at linebacker and in the secondary.

Love’s inclusion here is interesting, both given the Seahawks’ personnel at the position and the Giants’ in retaining their young safety starter. Although the Giants began negotiations with Love before free agency began, the New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard notes (via Twitter) the sides are not close on terms.

Love is just 24 (25 this weekend) despite having been in the NFL four seasons, and after Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan relocated last year, the former Giants fourth-round pick played a vital role for Don Martindale’s defense. He logged 1,006 snaps during a season in which Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson missed extended stretches, helping Big Blue secure its first playoff berth in six years. Love made 124 tackles and intercepted two passes last season.

The Seahawks are already the most well-invested team at the safety position, having Jamal Adams still on a top-market contract and having re-signed Quandre Diggs last year. Even after the Falcons added Jessie Bates for $16MM on average, Diggs’ $13MM-per-year contract still ranks within the top 10 at the position. The Seahawks are coming off a season in which Adams played one game, but Love might prove too pricey for a role alongside this duo.

Following a productive rookie season, Bush could not become a Steelers anchor at linebacker. The team, which traded up for Bush in the 2019 first round, reduced his playing time last season. Bush logged a career-low 62% defensive snap rate with Pittsburgh in 2022, after the team passed on his fifth-year option.

Pro Football Focus slotted Bush just outside the top 50 at linebacker last season; that did mark a bump after the advanced metrics site rated him as one of the worst players at the position in 2021. The Michigan product did play 17 games, making a sufficient recovery from the ACL tear that sidetracked his career back in 2020, but he did not check in as one of this crowded off-ball linebacker market’s top options heading into free agency.

Seattle has Jordyn Brooks signed through 2023, with a fifth-year option decision looming, but lost 2022 starter Cody Barton to the Commanders. The team has been connected to a possible Bobby Wagner reunion; GM John Schneider intends to monitor the Seahawks legend’s market. Bush would be a much lower-profile addition, but the Seahawks will kick the tires on the younger linebacker today. Bush is going into his age-25 season.

Defensive back Lonnie Johnson will also be part of this visit, Schefter adds (on Twitter). The former Texans second-round pick spent 2022 with two teams — the Chiefs and Titans — following a trade and waiver claim. The Texans bailed on Johnson, whom they tried at cornerback and safety, by trading him to the Chiefs. Kansas City waived Johnson in August. He ended up playing in 12 games as a Tennessee backup last season. The fifth-year defender has 19 career starts on his resume.

AFC Notes: Patrick, Lambo, Bush

One of many injuries the Broncos have had to deal with in 2022 is the ACL tear suffered by linebacker Aaron Patrick during an October Monday Night Football game against the Chargers. That came as a result of a collision between the special teamer and a member of an ESPN TV crew member, and has now led to legal action being taken.

Patrick is suing a long list of individuals and entities which includes the NFL, ESPN, the Rams and Chargers, the owners and operators of SoFi Stadium, and the crew worker he collided with. As detailed by Mike Klis of 9News, the 25-year-old is seeking unlimited civil damages and is aiming for a jury trial. Patrick, a former UDFA, lost between $200K and $400K in 2022 pay according to his attorneys, and some of his 2023 salary ($940K) could be at risk depending on the success of his rehab.

As the filing claims, Patrick’s injury came about due to the location of not only the crew member, but the mats in place to cover TV cables near the sideline. That has resulted in the long list of defendants, though none of them initially commented on the situation, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Here are some other AFC notes, including another legal update:

  • The Jaguars endured a disastrous 2021 campaign under head coach Urban Meyer, a short-lived spell which included an alleged kicking incident with then-kicker Josh Lambo. The latter sued the team this past May regarding the work environment in Jacksonville under Meyer, but that suit has been tossed out of court (Twitter link via Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic). As Kaplan notes, though, the judge overseeing the case has given Lambo the opportunity to re-file the suit.
  • Devin Bush was a talking point throughout the offseason for the Steelers, since the team’s decision to decline his fifth-year option puts him in line for free agency in March. That has led to an expectation the former first-round linebacker will depart in 2023, though he has remained a full-time starter this season. An improvement in play this year – during which the Michigan product has totaled 62 tackles and played every defensive snap last week – can be attributed to Pittsburgh’s new LBs coach, Brian Flores, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (subscription required). In spite of that, however, Kaboly still predicts that Bush will receive no more than a cursory contract offer from the Steelers and ultimately head elsewhere during the spring.

Steelers Notes: Reed, Pickens, Bush

Pass-rush depth had long been something the Steelers were reported to be seeking this offseason. Pittsburgh addressed the issue earlier this week by acquiring Malik Reed and a 2023 seventh-round pick from the Broncos in exchange for a sixth-rounder. It appears that Reed’s destination was no coincidence.

When speaking about the decision to trade the 26-year-old, Broncos GM George Paton said, via Kyle Newman of the Denver Post“We have a lot of really talented outside backers who can rush. We thought it would be best to trade Malik and trade him to somewhere where he’s going to fit in… He wanted to go to Pittsburgh, and we found a home for him. I think it’s a win-win for both sides.”

Reed will enter his contract year slated to operate as the team’s third outside linebacker behind T.J. Watt and Alex HighsmithWith 15 sacks and an equal number of tackles for loss during his three seasons in Denver, the Nevada product should give his new team the productivity off the edge they were looking for.

Here are some other notes from the Steel City:

  • Immediately following the trade, Reed agreed to re-work his contract. His base salary has dropped from $2.43MM to $1.5MM, as noted (on Twitter) by ESPN’s Field Yates. With a productive season, he will no doubt earn a raise over that figure, but for 2022 he projects as a highly cost-effective option off the bench for a Steelers team which already led the league in sacks last season.
  • One of the stars of training camp and the preseason has been rookie wideout George Pickensto the point where many have wondered how the Steelers were able to land him at No. 52 in the draft. Per PFF’s Doug Kyed, the Georgia standout was viewed by many around the NFL as the top receiver prospect after the 2020 college season, and that things only changed after his ACL tear the following spring and the rise of character concerns. As a so-called ‘wild card’ prospect, he was ultimately the 11th WR to hear his name called, but he could have a productive rookie season alongside Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, and has the upside to outperform most (if not all) of the pass-catchers chosen ahead of him.
  • Much of the talk surrounding the team this offseason has been the expectations placed on linebacker Devin Bush. The team’s decision to decline his fifth-year option has left many believing the former top-10 pick will be playing elsewhere in 2023. One pundit of that opinion is Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, who wrote last month that Bush is “nowhere near where he should be” considering his experience and draft pedigree. Kaboly adds that the team may need to alter its personnel packages based on whether or not Bush is on the field – a far cry from the every-down, playmaking defender the Michigan alum was drafted to become.
  • In addition to reinforcements along the defensive edges, the Steelers were active in seeking o-line depth. In fact, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Pittsburgh was “the team that came up most often” in trade talks (Twitter link). Fowler names Dennis Daley (who was dealt to Tennessee) as one of the team’s targets; they ultimately acquired Jesse Davis from the Vikings hours after the Reed deal. The 30-year-old was a starter on the Dolphins’ underwhelming offensive front last season, but could provide experienced depth for a unit the Steelers hope will take a step forward in 2022.

AFC Notes: Bush, Granson, Andrews

Expectations were sky-high for Devin Bush when the Steelers traded up to select him in the first round of the 2019 draft. Things haven’t gone according to plan in the past two years in particular, leading to the team’s decision to decline his fifth-year option earlier this offseason.

That has led many to believe 2022 will be his final year in Pittsburgh. While the upcoming season could prove to be a critical turning point, he will still have a starting role in the middle of the team’s defense. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes that Bush will be a member of the first-team unit alongside free agent addition Myles Jack (subscription required).

The Michigan alum is no stranger to significant playing time, having started all but one of his games in the NFL. He will look to rebound from a disappointing 2021 campaign, where he made 41 solo tackles and allowed a passer rating of nearly 103 in coverage. Behind him and Jack at the position, the Steelers have veteran Robert Spillane and 2021 fourth-rounder Buddy Johnson available in the event of injuries or poor play.

Here are a couple of other notes from the AFC:

  • Facing a serious cap crunch, the Patriots re-worked the contract of center David Andrews last month. The move created some breathing room for the 2022 season, dropping his cap number from $6.375MM down to $4.275MM. In a breakdown of the other changes brought on by the restructure, ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes (on Twitter) that his cap figure in 2023 and 2024 will jump from $5.875MM to $7.175MM and $7.425MM, respectively. The 30-year-old is coming off of another solid season in 2021, earning a PFF grade of 78, and figures to reman an anchor on New England’s o-line for the foreseeable future.
  • The Colts will have a new player atop the tight end depth chart this season. The retirement of Jack Doyle has left Mo Alie-Cox as the No. 1 at the position in Indianapolis. While the 28-year-old is likely to eclipse his single-season career high of 394 yards with the increased workload, another incumbent could see an uptick on usage. 2021 fourth-rounder Kylen Granson “should be given every opportunity” to become a full-time contributor in the team’s offense, writes FOX59’s Mike Chappell. He made just 11 catches as a rookie, and will be competing with Alie-Cox and rookies Jelani Woods and Drew Ogletree for targets. Still, he could take on a notable receiving role in particular within Frank Reich‘s TE-friendly scheme with a strong training camp.

Latest On LB Devin Bush’s Future With Steelers

Steelers linebacker Devin Bush is heading into the final year of his contract, and it sounds like the 2022 campaign could be his final season in Pittsburgh. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic writes that the 2022 campaign “is likely Bush’s last year with the Steelers.”

The writing was on the wall when the Steelers refused to pick up the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option. After tearing his ACL during the 2020 season, Bush struggled following his return to the field in 2021. While the linebacker managed to start each of his 14 games, he finished with only 70 tackles…a far cry from the 109 he compiled in 16 games as a rookie. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus ranked Bush 82nd among 87 qualifying linebackers, with the site being particularly harsh when it came to his rush defense.

Of course, this wasn’t the intended outcome. The Steelers traded up during the 2019 draft to select Bush with the 10th overall pick, and the expectation was that the Michigan product would be a mainstay on Pittsburgh’s defense for the foreseeable future. His rookie campaign saw him earn All-Rookie honors, but the 2020 ACL tear has derailed his career. A report from last December indicated that while Bush was well liked within the locker room, the organization had grown frustrated with his lack of development.

“I think Devin Bush will be a better player in 2022,” Colbert said earlier this offseason.

If the Steelers had picked up Bush’s fifth-year option, the organization would have been on the hook for $10.5MM. Following a dreadful 2021 campaign, it’s not a surprise that the Steelers didn’t want to commit that kind of future money to the linebacker, and barring a remarkable turnaround in 2022, it’s unlikely Bush will command that kind of money once he hits unrestricted free agency next offseason.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Steelers Notes: Colbert, QB Search, More

When speaking to the media on Monday, outgoing Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert provided an update on a number of topics, beginning with his personal plans. As Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (via Twitter), he is unlikely to completely retire once his successor is named. 

[Related: Steelers GM Kevin Colbert To Step Down]

Specifically, Colbert said, “I may or may not have a role” with the franchise after his contract expires following the draft. Dulac adds that the 65-year-old made his intention to step down clear last May, noting that “it was time from a personal standpoint, it was time from a professional standpoint”. ESPN’s Brooke Pryor tweets that Colbert is helping with the search for the new GM, which is primarily taking place before March 1st because teams can block candidates from interviewing after that date.

With regards to the top offseason priority in Pittsburgh – the search for a new starting quarterback – Colbert repeated the team’s public support of Mason Rudolph. “We have confidence that Mason, if we started today, would be our starter and we’re excited to see where that can go”, he said (Twitter link via Dulac). Rudolph holds a record of 5-4-1 as a starter after being a third round pick in 2018.

Here are some other Steelers notes, including more on the QB situation:

  • Colbert made it clear that the team, as expected, will place an RFA tender on Dwayne Haskins. That will leave the Steelers with two incumbent signal callers, but Colbert said “we know we’re going to add to the position” in the offseason, adding that “we will go to camp with four” (Twitter link via Pryor). He didn’t specify what avenue the team could take to acquire other options, but they are expected to be active in any regard.
  • Dulac tweets that Colbert acknowledged the unusually flexible position the team is in with regards to cap space, though he stressed that they traditionally don’t spend as much as other teams on the open market. He did, however, seem to “leave [the] door open to spend” this March.
  • Pryor reports that the Steelers are open to retaining defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt for next year, the final one on his current contract (Twitter link). The 28-year-old missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, and is scheduled to have a cap hit of just under $14MM next year. He has 34.5 sacks in seven seasons, all with the Steelers.
  • Finally, Pryor tweets that Pittsburgh has yet to decide whether or not they will pick up linebacker Devin Bush‘s fifth year option. “I think Devin Bush will be a better player in 2022”, Colbert said, referring to his recovery from a torn ACL. It had previously been reported that the team wasn’t picking up the option, but doing so would leave a significant hole in the middle of the team’s defense.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team