NFL Network Insider, Ian Rapoport, reported on Thursday that days before the start of training camp, Buffalo Bills safety Rafael Bush has officially retired from the league. In response to the retirement, the Bills signed former Saints and Panthers safety Kurt Coleman to a one-year deal.
Bush signed a two-year $3.5 million dollar deal with the Bills in 2018 and was set to be a free agent after the 2019 season. Bush turned 32 in May after his lone season in Buffalo. In 2018, Bush recorded 1.5 sacks, 48 total tackles, and two tackles for a loss in 15 games for the Bills.
Coleman, 32, spent his 2018 with the Saints, but spent the previous three years with the Carolina Panthers, specifically under Sean McDermott’s defense in 2015 and 2016. As a Saint, Coleman played in all 16 games and forced a fumble, and gathered 32 total tackles, including one tackle for a loss.
Coleman will fill the void left by Bush and provide solid veteran leadership to the secondary and his familiarity with McDermott’s scheme will bode well for him through training camp. Bush seemed to be a lock to make the roster, so in his absence, things seem to be opening up for younger safeties like Siran Neal, Jaquan Johnson, and Dean Marlowe.