Veteran tight end signs

The Green Bay Packers Wednesday signed veteran free agent tight end Steve Bush.<p>

Bush, 29, has played not only tight end, but also fullback, H-back and long snapper over his seven-year NFL career. He has played the last two-and-a-half seasons in Arizona, after a brief stint with the Rams and four years in Cincinnati. Bush was released by the Cardinals on June 1 as new Arizona coach Dennis Green trimmed some older players from the roster, including quarterback Jeff Blake.

Bush 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. Bush did not have any catches in Arizona's 20-13 win over the Packers on Sept. 21 last year.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Bush has played in 65 consecutive NFL games. Overall, in 98 NFL games (25 starts), Bush has 46 receptions for 354 yards and two touchdowns.

The Packers are in need of a tight end to compete against David Martin to back up Bubba Franks. Head coach Mike Sherman has contacted veteran Wesley Walls about returning to the team for this season, but Walls was not invited to either of the team's two off-season mini-camps.

Bush has experience as a long snapper, which might make veteran long snapper Rob Davis expendable when the final cuts are made in training camp.

"It's broadened my career to be able to do a lot of different things," Bush said. "Block, catch balls, come out of the backfield. What ever they want to do with me is cool with me."

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 contributor to Arizona State's 1996 Pac-10 championship and Rose Bowl berth, Bush played with Jake Plummer, Pat Tillman and Grey Ruegamer in college.

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