September 2, 2012

Saints Claim S Bush; Drop S Amaya

The Saints swapped out backup strong safeties during the 53-man cutdown waiver period, claiming safety Rafael Bush on waivers from Denver.

To make room, the Saints waived safety Jonathon Amaya, who was half of the bounty from the Reggie Bush trade to Miami.  Ironically, Rafael Bush will wear jersey number 25, Reggie's number.  The other half of the Bush trade bounty was a swap of sixth round picks in the 2012 draft, which the Saints used  in April to take Syracuse OL Andrew Tiller, now on injured reserve.

In one season as a Saint, Amaya, 6'2, 205, 23, appeared in 16 games and recorded 10 tackles and four assists.  He forced one fumble on special teams in 2011.  Through five preseason games in 2012, Amaya recorded nine tackles and three assists as the primary backup to strong safety Roman Harper.

Bush, 5'11, 200, 25, was disappointed the Saints didn't have jersey #36 available, though no player currently is assigned that number.  In two seasons as an undrafted signee with the Falcons and Broncos, Bush has appeared in six games and recorded three tackles.  In four preseason games with the Broncos in 2012, he recorded ten solo tackles and a pass defense while battling Rahim Moore for the starting free safety job.  In the playoffs last season, Bush recorded two solo tackles and six assists for the Broncos in a big divisional round loss to the Patriots.

The Broncos stole Bush off the Falcons' practice squad in October 2011.  He reportedly played both free and strong safety for Atlanta and free safety in Denver.  Aggressive and a good tackler, Bush definitely fits at strong safety for the Saints because his weaknesses are in coverage.  He entered the league as an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina State in 2010, where he was voted team MVP as a senior after walking on to the team.

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