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Falcons Sign Safety Rafael Bush To Offer Sheet, Saints May Match Before April 8

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The former Falcon could come home and should be in the mix for a starting free safety gig.

USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Bush began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the 2010 Falcons. Four years later, he may be coming home:

A caveat: The Saints can match this deal, so Bush isn't necessarily in Atlanta for certain. It is a strong bet, though.

The Falcons don't have to give the Saints any draft picks in exchange for the right to sign away Bush, because he was originally a UDFA and he was tendered at the original round level. Contract terms are not immediately available, but it's likely to be a fairly affordable deal, given Bush's career arc to this point. It's also fair to assume that the team will sink a draft pick on the second or third day to give them a player to compete with Bush if he does wind up at the Georgia Dome, but he's likely the favorite for the starting free safety gig in Atlanta in 2014.

Bush's potential Atlanta return to the Falcons comes after an interesting career path to this point. He was on the active roster briefly in 2010 before being cut and signed back to the practice squad in 2011. The Broncos then stole him away for a year before he signed with the Saints, where he played 29 games in two seasons with six starts. In those games, he managed 60 tackles, 6 pass deflections and an interception. He developed about as well as the Falcons might have hoped, but unfortunately he wasn't in Atlanta as he was doing so.

Bush is still just 26, so it's not just possible but probable that his best days are ahead of him. The Falcons will take that gamble, and if he can't quite hack it long-term, he'll be quality depth at the very least. As I said above, there's likely to be a rookie to compete with, but certainly he's got the capability to be a quality starter for a team hurting at safety.

This possibility has been kicking around for a bit, but appreciative hat tip for KMarch, who was among the first to bring up the possibility back on March 12th. We generate some good ideas in the comments here, and this is a good idea. Given how barren the cupboard was, getting a young safety with some upside is about the best possible move. A conditional welcome home, Rafael Bush.

Your thoughts on Bush's potential signing?