Why Steelers Bud Dupree should be top priority despite tight cap space
Bud Dupree should be a top priority
But the question remains, how will it work? The Steelers are on the short-end in terms of salary cap space and with other key players due to becoming unrestricted free-agents like NT Javon Hargrave, CB Mike Hilton, RT Matt Feiler, and special-teams ace ILB Tyler Matakevich, there just isn’t enough bread to go around. Someone is going to be left out.
That player should not be Dupree; instead, he should be their top off-season priority, no question about it. Outside of Ohio State, OLB Chase Young, there is no outside linebacker in this upcoming draft who comes close to Dupree’s Pro Bowl talent.
By potentially losing Dupree, the Steelers will once again have to find an edge-setter capable of double-dipping as a pass-rusher with coverage ability. Finding that three-down player who can excel in all three areas in a team’s 3-4 base is rare, that’s why re-signing Dupree should be their top priority while keeping the top pass-rushing duo (Watt) in the NFL intact for the long-term.
Simply put, they can’t exactly find that replacement in free-agency due to their current salary cap situation and certainly won’t find one in this year’s weak draft class, which is why Dupree should be re-signed sooner rather than later.
I bet if you ask Watt, who he would want, it would be without a doubt, Dupree. Hands down. Hargrave may be the heart of that 3-4 defense as a two-down plugger, but the team can find a serviceable nose tackle much easier than finding a versatile talent like Dupree.
This leaves the team no choice but to wipe their hands clean of ILB Mark Barron and OLB Anthony Chickillo once the new league year begins, to free up cap space. A smart move, and a no-brainer, if you ask me.
Whether or not the Steelers re-sign Dupree remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, he will get paid top dollar one way or the other. A top-five edge-rusher set to hit the open market along with Los Angeles Rams OLB Dante Fowler, New England Patriots DE/OLB Jamie Collins Sr., Baltimore Ravens OLB Matt Judon, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers OLB Shaquil Barrett, the Steelers would be wise to lock up their own, as their defense would take a huge hit, if they don’t. Here We Go!