Steelers Appear Set To Pass On Fifth-Year Option For ILB Devin Bush As Deadline Nears

The 2022 NFL Draft will get underway in Las Vegas, NV on Thursday night and with that, we shouldn’t expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to do any other sort of business until they sign their undrafted free agents beginning late on Saturday and into Sunday. Following the draft, the deadline for NFL teams to pick up the fifth-year options on players selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is on May 3, which is Tuesday, and as we sit here right now, it still seems like the Steelers won’t be doing so with inside linebacker Devin Bush.

As of the time of this post, only nine former first round selections from the 2019 draft class have had their fifth-year options for 2023 picked up. That list of players includes Nick Bosa (49ers), Jeffery Simmons (Titans), Quinnen Williams (Jets), Devin White (Buccaneers), T.J. Hockenson (Lions), Ed Oliver (Bills), Brian Burns (Panthers), Noah Fant (Seahawks), and Montez Sweat (Commanders).

Bush, who was the tenth overall selection by the Steelers in 2019 after the team traded up from the 20th overall spot to draft him, has underwhelmed quite a bit since exiting Michigan for the NFL as a declared underclassman. His 2021 season was very nondescript overall and followed a 2020 season that included him missing from Week 6 on because of a torn ACL. As we have speculated all offseason, it’s hard to envision the Steelers picking up Bush’s fifth-year option for 2023 this offseason.

As part of the new CBA, fifth-year options become fully guaranteed once they are picked up by teams. That’s yet another reason why the Steelers aren’t likely to pick up Bush’s fifth-year option by Tuesday. His fifth-year option amount for 2023 would be $10.892 million if picked up.

Historically, we usually know by now if the Steelers will be picking up a fifth-year option on a player. With no word yet from the organization on Bush’s option-year with the draft almost here, it will be a huge surprise if we get news stating otherwise by Tuesday. Should Bush not have his fifth-year option picked up by Tuesday’s deadline, he will be scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March of 2023.

For his NFL career, Bush has 205 total tackles with 11 resulting in lost yardage. He has played in just 35 regular season games with 34 starts and has four sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 11 passes defensed to his credit. His is scheduled to earn $3,068,424 in 2022 with all of that being fully guaranteed.

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