The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Devin Bush in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and expected to have the team’s solution at inside linebacker for years to come. After failing to play up to expectations, the Steelers declined Bush’s fifth-year option and decided to let the linebacker test free agency. Bush then signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
In an interview with The Ian Furness Show Podcast, Bush opened up about his departure from Pittsburgh and the decision to sign with Seattle. While the former first-round pick did not directly throw any shade toward the Steelers, the show’s host enticed Bush to say some interesting things.
Bush began the interview by detailing the decision to choose Seattle over “other” potential landing spots. Seattle was the only team that Bush reportedly visited in the offseason.
“It had to do a lot with the culture. Obviously, the history behind it is what it is. Talking to coach [Pete] Carroll on frequent occasions, I feel like it was a good fit,” said Bush. “He is extending that culture that he is familiar with. He is trying to get guys in there that just love football.”
After meeting Carroll, Bush had nothing but motivation. Whether this was a shot at Mike Tomlin or not, Bush explained the differences he noticed in his new coach.
“I walked into his office, he has the music playing, has the pictures up, you know he is watching film. So I got the feel of he is dedicated. He’s all in and doesn’t think about nothing else but Seattle Seahawks and winning. If he puts that much time and energy into his work, I have to match it.”
When asked if the culture and atmosphere are different than in Pittsburgh, Bush said, “[It is] a 180º completely, something that I’ve been looking forward to. I can’t wait to get in there against my first opponent and shoot the lights out.”
Bush “[had to] get that bad feeling” out of his mouth and explained how he felt after the Steelers decided to decline his fifth-year option. Bush also stated that he does not know why the Steelers declined his fifth-year option.
“I wish I knew, but to this day, I have no answer,” said Bush. “What I can say is that when one door closes another one opens so I am excited for the opportunity. The way I felt about it was I knew it was a business. It told me that I wasn’t in the future of the Steelers [plans] so that’s fine. There’s 31 other teams out there, Seattle is one of them and now look where I am at.”
Bush was slated to earn $10.9 million in his option year with the Steelers. It is safe to say that the price tag was not worth the production and that is why the Steelers declined Bush’s option. Seattle signed Bush to a $3.5 million contract, which shows what the Seahawks gauged his value at.
While Bush’s rocky tenure in Pittsburgh is over, the Steelers will travel to Seattle for a matchup later this year.