Lions sign former Saints S Rafael Bush

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
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Rafael Bush

The Lions found another player they hope can help in the secondary in 2016, agreeing to terms with free-agent safety Rafael Bush on Saturday.

Bush, 28, gained starting experience with the Saints the past few years, but he played just one game in 2015 before season a season-ending injury, a torn pectoral muscle.

Despite suffering what he described as an “unfortunate freak accident,” Bush said he’s healthy now and plans to participate in offseason workouts.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Everything’s a go.”

Bush’s deal is a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth up to $2.4 million. Many of the contracts new Lions general manager Bob Quinn executed this week have bonuses related to playtime and performance.

“Obviously, I’m feeling fine,” he said. “I’m ready to get to work. I’m ready to roll. I’ve been out of football a whole season, so I’m excited, I’m enthused, and I’m just ready to get to work.”

Bush is coming to Detroit to compete for a starting job next to Glover Quin, a player Bush said is always in the right place at the right time and one he’s excited to meet. The Lions signed former Patriots safety Tavon Wilson this week, but he hasn’t started a game since 2012. The Lions also have safeties Don Carey and Isaiah Johnson.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Bush spent time with the Falcons after going undrafted in 2011 and made his debut with the Broncos in 2011, appearing in six games.

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In 2012, Bush played all 16 games as a backup, finishing with 18 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. In 2013, he cracked the starting lineup, making six starts in 13 games and finishing with 42 tackles and five passes defensed.

In the 2014 offseason, the Saints signed Bush to a two-year, $4.5 million deal, matching an offer sheet from the Atlanta Falcons.

Bush started seven of his 10 games in 2014, but was on injured reserve for the final six games after suffering a broken tibia. Before the injury, he had 56 tackles and two passes defensed. He opened 2015 as the starter, but he suffered the pectoral injury in Week 1.

Bush is also a capable special teams player, posting eight solo tackles in that phase of the game in 2012.

Bush took his visit to Detroit Friday and said the team’s “family oriented” approach made him feel comfortable.

“When I came on my visit, it felt like I belonged,” he said. “They treated me like family, and it was a no-brainer for me. It felt right.”

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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