Monday, March 16, 2009
Packers retain defensive back Bush
By Len Pasquarelli
Deciding to act quickly rather than deliberate for the entire seven days at their disposal, the Green Bay Packers on Monday afternoon matched the offer sheet restricted free agent Jarrett Bush signed with the Tennessee Titans.
By invoking their right of first refusal, the Packers retain the defensive back at the contract terms negotiated by Tennessee. If the Packers had opted to allow Bush to move on to Tennessee, Green Bay would not have received any compensation, since Bush entered the league as an undrafted college free agent.
Financial terms of the offer sheet were not available, but it is a three-year contract, ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky has learned.
Tennessee had hoped Bush would fill the vacancy on their secondary left by the free agent defections of Eric King and Chris Carr.
Bush, 24, was one of the most attractive players in the restricted free-agent pool and was sought by several teams. A one-time waiver claim from Carolina in 2006, Bush has good size (6 feet 2, 200 pounds), can play cornerback or safety, and is a terror on special teams.
He has started just one game in three seasons, but the former Utah State standout can help a team in a lot of ways, including playing nickel back. He has double-digit tackles on special teams in each of his three seasons in the league, including 17 last season.
The decision by Green Bay officials and the departures of King and Carr leaves the Titans without an experienced nickel defender in 2009.
Bush was the third restricted free agent to sign an offer sheet this year. Wide receiver David Anderson of Houston signed a three-year, $4.5 million offer sheet with Denver, but the Texans quickly matched the deal. The New York Jets are still deciding if they will match the offer sheet that defensive back Abram Elam signed with the Cleveland Browns last week.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer with ESPN.com.