Buffalo Bills safety Rafael Bush unexpectedly retired today and the team wasted no time signing his replacement – Kurt Coleman.
Bush retired at an odd point of the year, just about a week before training camp kicks off. Bush joined the Bills last year as a free agent after playing five years in New Orleans, one in Denver and one in Detroit.
Last season, Bush played in 15 games and even started seven games when nickel corner Taron Johnson was injured. Bush contributed 45 total tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season.
Bush has yet to make a statement about his retirement.
To replace the 32-year-old Bush, the Bills signed Kurt Coleman, a nine-year veteran safety. Coleman agreed to a 1 year, $1 million deal.
Coleman has played under head coach Sean McDermott before. McDermott coached Coleman during the safety’s rookie season (2010) with the Eagles and for two years in Carolina (2015-16). While under McDermott’s leadership in Carolina, Coleman recorded 183 tackles and 11 interceptions, the best two-season stretch of his career.
Last season, Coleman played in all 16 games for the Saints, starting nine. He recorded 32 tackles and forced one fumble.
This year, in Buffalo, Coleman will likely fill the same role that Bush had. Coleman will act as backup safety to Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. It remains to be seen if Coleman could fill in at nickel corner as Bush did.
Coleman will likely not record similar numbers as the last time he was under McDermott’s watch, but he can provide veteran leadership and has an understanding of his schemes.