Several more stars were in serious negotiations - running back Steven Jackson (formerly of the St. Louis Rams) with the Green Bay Packers, defensive back Charles Woodson (Green Bay) with the San Francisco 49ers, offensive tackle Jake Long (Miami Dolphins) with St. Louis, linebacker James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers) with the Baltimore Ravens, and safety Ed Reed (Ravens) with the Houston Texans.
Bush, the former Heisman Trophy winner who played for the New Orleans Saints and Miami, agreed to a four-year deal with Detroit. The Lions were the big winner of the day, also signing former Texans free safety Glover Quin.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals were also interested in Bush, but the Lions offered him a starting job as opposed to being a situational back.
Welker reached an agreement on a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos, according to multiple media reports.
The 31-year-old Welker, one of the top unrestricted free agents available, had 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns in 2012 with the New England Patriots. It was his fifth 100-catch season, an NFL record.
Goldson, who helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl, signed a five-year deal with the Buccaneers. The deal was worth an estimated $40 to $42 million.
In the past three season, Quin started every game for the Texans, who drafted him in 2009. The 27-year-old is expected to take the starting spot of free safety Louis Delmas, whom the Lions are expected to lose in free agency.
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On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings released cornerback Antoine Winfield, and the Ravens cut Bernard Pollard on Wednesday to further bulk up a talented list of defensive backs that already included Woodson and Reed.
Cornerback Chris Houston, meanwhile, agreed to re-sign with the Lions, who also added defensive lineman Jason Jones (Seattle Seahawks), while cornerback Dunta Robinson left the Atlanta Falcons for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the Buccaneers sent a private plane to pick up Goldson on Tuesday in California and bring him to Florida to conclude negotiations.
Meantime, Woodson, who began his career with the Oakland Raiders, was expected back in the Bay Area on Wednesday on a visit to the 49ers, who may want his experience in replacing Goldson.
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The 49ers might also have a good reason to invite the newly free Winfield, whose ability to cover slot-type receivers would come in handy for San Francisco when it plays NFC West rival Seattle.
Winfield's Minnesota teammate, Percy Harvin, was acquired by the Seahawks in a trade, and Winfield might be one of the few defenders with ability to match up with Harvin.
The Rams also are interested in adding to their secondary, and are looking at safety Delmas along with offensive tackle Long.
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Running back Rashard Mendenhall agreed to a one-year deal with the Cardinals. A former first-round draft pick of the Steelers, Mendenhall had his most productive NFL seasons under the watch of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, and he rejoins his former coach in Arizona.
The Dolphins, who scored big on free agent opening day by signing wide receiver Mike Wallace and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler, are still in acquisition mode.
The Dolphins are interested in adding yet another veteran receiver to help young quarterback Ryan Tannehill. They are reportedly talking to tight end Dustin Keller (New York Jets) and wide receiver Brandon Gibson (St. Louis). According to multiple media outlets, Keller was taking a physical in Miami on Wednesday.
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The Jets are also interested in Gibson, making for a potential bidding skirmish between the division rivals.
The Chiefs were also in the market for another experienced receiver for newly acquired quarterback Alex Smith. They ended up signing Donnie Avery, who grabbed 60 passes for 781 yards with the Indianapolis Colts last season.
Tight ends were also on the move. The Chicago Bears signed Martellus Bennett on the first day of free agency, resulting in the release of Kellen Davis on Wednesday.
The Steelers re-signed tight end/fullback David Johnson to a one-year contract. The Browns, meanwhile, were interested in bringing in the Washington Redskins' Fred Davis, according to CBSSports.com, and the Carolina Panthers' Gary Barnidge, according to Pro Football Talk.
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The Browns also continued to bulk up their defense, signing outside linebacker Quentin Groves (Arizona) to a two-year deal worth $2.8 million. He was the third front-seven player signed by Cleveland in free agency, joining outside linebacker Paul Kruger and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant.
The Steelers released guard Willie Colon but added some stability to the quarterback position by signing Bruce Gradkowski to back up Ben Roethlisberger.
Fullback Quinn Johnson, lead blocker for star running back Chris Johnson, re-signed with Tennessee. The Titans also signed free agent Shonn Greene, a starting running back with the Jets the last two years.
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The San Diego Chargers announced that wide receiver/return specialist Richard Goodman, an exclusive-rights free agent, signed his one-year contract tender. Goodman is entering his fourth season with the Chargers.
San Diego also bolstered its offensive line by signing three free agents, tight end John Phillips (formerly of the Dallas Cowboys), tackle King Dunlap (Philadelphia Eagles) and guard Chad Rinehart (Buffalo Bills).
In addition to acquiring Welker, the Broncos agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and with linebacker Stewart Bradley, who was released by the Cardinals on March 1.