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Steelers Rumors: Devin Bush's 5th-Year Contract Option Declined by PIT

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2022

Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers declined the fifth-year option on Devin Bush's rookie contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bush would've counted for almost $10.8 million against the salary cap in 2023 if the team triggered his club option. This decision continues a recent trend for Pittsburgh.

Neal Coolong @NealCoolong

Devin Bush becomes the third out of the last four first-round picks the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a> have made to not have his 5th year option picked up. They declined Artie Burns (16), picked up T.J. Watt's (17), and declined Terrell Edmunds (18) and now Bush (19).

This doesn't necessarily spell the end for Bush with the Steelers. Heading into the 2021 season, they declined Terrell Edmunds' fifth-year option and eventually re-signed him for one year and $2.5 million.

Bush made a big splash as a rookie in 2019. He placed third in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting after finishing with 109 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.

The 23-year-old was then limited to five games in 2020 after suffering a torn ACL. Upon making his return, he wasn't the same player he was compared to his first season. In 14 appearances in 2021, he recorded 70 tackles and two sacks.

Given how much he struggled, the Steelers' decision not to extend Bush beyond 2022 comes as little surprise. They already bolstered their depth at linebacker by signing Myles Jack, which might have been the first sign they were wavering on their 2019 first-round pick.

Losing out on $10.8 million guaranteed is obviously a setback for Bush. The upside is that he still has the opportunity to play himself into a nice contract with his performance in 2022.

SteelerNation @SteeIerNation

Devin Bush about to have a helluva season <a href="https://t.co/GJE1zILUbl">pic.twitter.com/GJE1zILUbl</a>

Pittsburgh didn't select a linebacker until the seventh round (Ole Miss' Mark Robinson) in this year's draft, so Bush is likely to maintain a regular role in the defense.

Should the former Michigan star return to the form he was in 2019, he might even be able to get more long-term security than would've been afforded to him from his fifth-year option.

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