Tough decision awaits on Bush

What will the Packers do with restricted free agent Jarrett Bush, who signed an offer from Tennessee? Packer Report weighs in on the debate.

Defensive back Jarrett Bush signed an offer sheet with the Tennessee Titans on Friday, giving the Packers one week to decide what to do with the restricted free agent.

Jarrett Bush pros

Bush was the Packers' leader in special-teams tackles last season with 17, and he played more than three-quarters of the snaps in the kicking game. With 11 special-teams tackles in 2007 and 13 in 2006 - plus, his fumble recovery of a punt in the 2007 opener vs. Philadelphia set up the winning field goal - his value is evident. Considering the Packers fielded one of the worst special teams in the NFL last season, taking away a key member of those units wouldn't exactly be helpful to new coordinator Shawn Slocum.

Plus, coach Mike McCarthy several times last season raved about Bush's potential to play safety. He played cornerback and safety during training camp, though he played only sparingly on defense last season.

Jarrett Bush cons

For all Bush delivers on special teams, the mental errors last season were an issue. He was flagged a team-high six teams on special teams as the Packers paced the league in special teams penalties. It takes controlled aggression to be a special teams standout. Too often, he lacked that control.

And while the Packers like Bush's potential as a safety, a position change can be seen as grasping at straws. Bush spent most of 2007 as the nickel cornerback, but was yanked from that role late in the season and he's barely played defense since. At 6-foot and with superb athleticism, he has everything you want in a corner except the instincts.

Finally, the issue boils down to money. Even at the low restricted free agent tender of a shade over $1 million, Bush would have been a high-priced reserve, especially considering nickel corner Tramon Williams wants a pay hike. Imagine Bush getting $1 million to play special teams while Williams gets about half of that while playing about half of the defensive snaps. While terms of Tennessee's offer were not available, it's safe to assume it's significant enough that it hopes to prevent the Packers from matching it.

Jarrett Bush verdict

The Packers have signed only one free agent this offseason, bargain safety Anthony Smith. In retrospect, it appears the Packers signed Smith in part because they anticipated Bush getting an offer elsewhere.

Bush is an engaging, intelligent and athletic young player (he turns 25 in May). He has a lot of potential, but it appears it will be up to the Titans to develop that talent.

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