The Green Bay Packers Wednesday signed free agent tight end Steve Bush, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.
Bush, 29, provides offensive coordinator Tom Rossley with a versatile skills player who has played not only tight end, but also fullback, H-back and long snapper over his seven-year NFL career. The veteran played the last two-and-a-half seasons in Arizona, after a brief stint with the Rams and four years in Cincinnati.
Arizona head coach Dennis Green terminated Bush June 1 in a move that was more about the Cardinals' new philosophy and endorsing a younger player, Lorenzo Diamond, than the salary cap. Green also released several other veterans, including starting quarterback Jeff Blake.
Bush, Arizona's backup tight end, started four games in 2003 and caught 11 passes for 71 yards with one touchdown. That score came Dec. 28 in the season finale vs. Minnesota. A diving, 2-yard catch on fourth-and-1, Bush's touchdown made the score 17-12 with two minutes left. The eventual, 18-17 win vaulted Green Bay into the playoffs, after the Packers won seven of their final nine games to capitalize on Minnesota's loss and win the NFC North title.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Bush has played in 65 consecutive NFL games. The last time he appeared on a roster and didn't play was Oct. 31, 1999, when the Bengals de-activated him with a knee sprain. Overall, in 98 NFL games (25 starts), Bush has 46 receptions for 354 yards and two touchdowns.
Originally signed by Cincinnati as a non-drafted free agent, April 28, 1997, Bush played his first four years for the Bengals. He went unsigned during the 2001 unrestricted free agency period, then spent one week in St. Louis on the eve of training camp before signing with Arizona midway through 2001.
A key contributor to Arizona State's 1996 Pac-10 championship and Rose Bowl berth, Bush played with Jake Plummer, Pat Tillman and new Packers teammate Grey Ruegamer in college.
Bush is No. 85 on the Packers' roster.