The Pittsburgh Steelers are declining to pick up the fifth-year option on 2019 first-round pick LB Devin Bush, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who tweeted the news a short time ago.
Though the Steelers hadn’t publicly stated whether or not they’d pick it up, the expectation has always strongly been that the team would decline it. HIs fifth-year option amount was slated to be $10.892 million, which would’ve been fully guaranteed.
Bush is coming off a poor 2021 season, his first season after tearing his ACL. He struggled to get off blocks in the run game and failed to make many splash plays in the pass game. He wasn’t the only one to struggle, but he and the rest of the Steelers’ front seven ended the year with the 32nd-ranked run defense, statistically the worst in franchise history.
Now set to be a free agent after the 2022 season, Bush will try to get his career back on track. Pittsburgh declined Terrell Edmunds’ fifth-year option last offseason and re-signed him this year, though Edmunds remained a free agent for weeks and came back on an ultra-cheap, one-year deal.
There are elements working in Bush’s favor. He’s another year removed from his torn ACL, should have a better and healthier defensive line working in front of him, and the Brian Flores hire puts a talented and respected coach in his corner. Still, Bush will have to play significantly better this year if he wants a long-term future with the team.
Pittsburgh traded up from #20 to #10 to select Bush in the 2019 draft.