NFL rescinds Rafael Bush’s fine for Percy Harvin hit _lowres

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Free safety Rafael Bush will remain in New Orleans after the Saints on Monday matched an offer sheet he signed with the Atlanta Falcons last week.

It’s been a good week for Saints safety Rafael Bush’s bank account.

Two days after the Saints matched an offer for restricted free-agent Bush to play in Atlanta for two seasons and up to $4.5 million, the player got word that the NFL rescinded a $21,000 fine for a hit he had on Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin during New Orleans’ defeat at Seattle in a divisional playoff game in January.

Bush’s agent, William Brian Anderson, confirmed the rescinded fine on Thursday.

The hit in question happened when Harvin was trying to catch a deep pass on a third-and-11 from New Orleans’ 41 on Seattle’s opening possession. Bush hammered the Seahawks wideout; the pass fell incomplete; and officials flagged the Saints’ safety for a hit on a defenseless receiver. They assessed a 15-yard penalty.

Harvin left the game and was examined for a concussion but returned. He left the game for good later in the first half after he banged his head on the turf in the end zone of CenturyLink Field on another pass.

The league subsequently imposed the fine on Bush. but Anderson immediately indicated to The Advocate at the time that his client would appeal.

Bush went on Twitter on Wednesday and wrote, “I just realized it took me 3 months to appeal my last fine yep can I have my 21 back now thank you.”

The nullification of the fine capped off a headline-making week for Bush.

On April 3, news broke that Bush had signed an offer sheet from the Falcons. But the Saints had until Tuesday to match the offer because the team had given him a one-year, $1.4 million restricted free-agent tender in March.

They matched it Monday.

Fans were infuriated Bush considered defecting to the NFC South rival Falcons, but he said his decision was in the best interest of his wife and his 1-year-old daughter.

“I was happy either way,” Bush said about playing in Atlanta or remaining with the Saints, whose offense and defense were ranked fourth in 2013. “Now (staying in New Orleans), I have a chance and an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.”