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New Orleans Saints match offer for Rafael Bush

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The New Orleans Saints have matched Atlanta Falcons' contract offer for restricted free agent Rafael Bush, it has been confirmed.

The 26-year-old started his NFL career with the Falcons in 2010, before joining the Denver Broncos a year later.

Bush then joined the Saints in 2012, but looked likely to leave the franchise after he was allowed to enter free agency.

However, while the Falcons signed Bush to an offer sheet with a contract reportedly worth $4.5 million over two years, the Saints have exercised their right to match the offer and keep him from the clutches of their NFC rivals.

The safety confirmed on Twitter yesterday: "I'm still a saint yep".

Sean Payton and Micky Loomis appear to have had their hand forced by the Falcons given the amount of salary cap space they have remaining.

According to ESPN, they had $2 million available space as of Monday - which does include a $1.4 million charge for Bush because of the original qualifying offer the Saints made him, but not the deal handed to newly-signed cornerback Champ Bailey.

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