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Devin Bush on Steelers declining his fifth-year option: It’s business

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After a lackluster 2021 season, linebacker Devin Bush did not get his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers this spring.

That means he’ll be a free agent after the upcoming 2022 season.

Bush was coming off of a torn ACL suffered in October of 2020 and he never truly found his footing in the following season. His playing time dwindled down the stretch, going from routinely playing over 80 percent of the defensive snaps to 65-69 percent. He then was on the field for just 51 percent of the snaps in Pittsburgh’s playoff loss to Kansas City, though he did have an interception in that contest.

Still, Bush told reporters after Wednesday’s OTA practice that he wasn’t happy with his play in 2021 either. And he appears to understand why the Steelers declined his option.

“Me and my agent talked about it,” Bush said, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “We had discussions. We feel like the team made a decision they needed to make, and we have to make decisions we have to make to move on from it. I wasn’t [ticked] off or anything like that. It’s business. That’s how I looked at it.

“I was motivated regardless of whether they picked up my fifth year or not. I’m just motivated to play football and win.”

Bush is also feeling healthy at this point in 2022.

“I get the chance to play football again how I want to, for real,” Bush said. “I get the chance to go out there and be myself. I feel like I’m starting a whole new slate, and I feel pretty good about it.”

Bush finished third in AP defensive rookie of the year voting back in 2019 when he recorded 109 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, a pair of interceptions, and four fumble recoveries for the Steelers. If he can get back to that level of production, he’ll cash in with a nice payday next offseason.

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