The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reported that the Seattle Seahawks are signing inside linebacker Devin Bush in NFL free agency. It’s safe to say that Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett likes the move.
Less than 12 hours after Condotta’s report, Lockett delivered a welcoming message to Bush on Twitter.
“Welcome to the team D Bush!!!! Let’s get it!!” Lockett wrote in a Twitter post.
Although the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, Condotta reported that Bush and the Seahawks have agreed to a one-year contract.
Bush signed his deal after visiting with the Seahawks on the same day. Bush doesn’t turn 25 until July and is the former No. 10 overall pick from the 2019 NFL draft. But he mostly struggled during his four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Seahawks Sign Devin Bush
Four years ago, Bush was one of the top prospects at his position. He was a star at Michigan, winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award and becoming a consensus All-American player in 2018.
At the 2019 NFL combine, Bush ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds. It was only one-hundredth of a second behind fellow inside linebacker Devin White, who was considered the other top off-the-ball linebacker in the 2019 class.
Bush’s 4.43 40-yard dash time remains one of the fastest in NFL combine history.
Starting as a rookie, Bush played well, recording 109 combined tackles, including 9 for loss, 4 pass defenses, 2 interceptions and 1 sack in 2019. He was off to a fast start in 2020 as well, but then he a torn ACL in Week 5.
Since then, Bush hasn’t continued to develop and even regressed. Over the past 28 games, he’s only had 4 tackles for loss with 2 sacks. He’s also had 6 pass defenses with zero interceptions.
At the end of the 2022 season, Bush lost his starting job during the final three games. He played just 5 snaps in both Weeks 17 and 18 to finish his Steelers tenure.
Bush will be looking for a fresh start in Seattle on a prove-it deal regardless of the financial terms of his contract. In many ways, the former No. 10 overall pick will be fighting for his NFL career in 2023, which should make him an extra motivated player on the Seahawks defense.
Seahawks Lose Cody Barton in NFL Free Agency
Bush will be replacing linebacker Cody Barton, who the Seahawks lost in NFL free agency to the Washington Commanders. Barton reportedly signed a 1-year, $3.5 million contract, all of which was guaranteed, with the Commanders.
Barton posted his best statistical season in 2022, registering 136 combined tackles, including 4 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback hits, 2 sacks, 6 pass defenses and 2 interceptions for the Seahawks. He made 11 starts, playing in all 17 games.
Bush is an upgrade in overall talent. Barton was actually in the same draft class as Bush, going off the board during the third round in 2019. But the question is if Bush can capitalize on his fresh start and recapture his pre-injury form.
Ironically, the Seahawks, Steelers and Commanders essentially made a three-way trade at linebacker but through NFL free agency this offseason.
The Steelers signed linebacker Cole Holcomb to a three-year contract to replace Bush. The Seahawks signed Bush to replace Barton, who is heading to Washington in Holcomb’s place.
In addition to Bush, the Seahawks have signed defensive linemen Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed to free agent contracts this March. Seattle also agreed to terms with backup quarterback Drew Lock on March 16.