The Steelers have a big decision to make this offseason regarding the future of OLB Bud Dupree in Pittsburgh. Here’s are the pros and cons of giving him an extension.
Before the start of the 2019 NFL season, many fans wondered if it was a mistake for the Steelers to give outside linebacker Bud Dupree the fifth-year option that guaranteed him upwards of $9.2 million this season. However, after somehow managing to disappoint fans over his first four seasons, Dupree is finally becoming the player we all hoped he would be.
While his excellent performance this season is exactly what we had wanted all along, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned about giving Dupree a massive contract extension this offseason.
Here are the Steelers pros and cons of locking up Bud Dupree for the foreseeable future:
Pros of re-signing Bud Dupree
Obviously, the first thing we have to look at is his production and impact on the team. Though Dupree certainly benefits from having an other-worldly talent across from him like T.J. Watt, it’s clear that he has improved in nearly every aspect of his game.
Dupree has been fantastic against the run this season, and he has more forced fumbles and fumble recoveries in 2019 than his previous four years combined. He has made massive improvements this season, and the Steelers would hope that there is more in store after they sign him.
Another plus is that Dupree turns just 27 years old in February and is entering the prime of his NFL career. If the Steelers locked him up long-term, they might be able to retain him during his best years of football.
Keeping this defensive unit together is a must for the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger’s closing window, and Bud Dupree is their biggest priority free agent this offseason.
Cons of re-signing Bud Dupree
Despite his fantastic production in 2019, skeptics are worried about whether his 2019 performance is repeatable. After all, Dupree wasn’t productive until his fifth year in the NFL. Some fans even wonder if he is just now trying hard to secure a massive payday.
Once he does, is there any guarantee that we will see the same type of production from him? The tricky thing about a one-year-wonder is that it is hard to assess their motives. We may not be able to differentiate between what might be an effort issue or merely a better feel for the game. Still, Dupree’s one year of good production has to be concerning to all fans.
The former 1st round draft choice of 2015 is also set to make fantastic money after this season, and Dupree is smart enough to know that there will be teams out there who will offer him a fortune for his services.
If the Steelers re-sign him and he doesn’t live up to expectations, they could be stuck against the cap ceiling for years.
Whatever Pittsburgh elects to do in this situation with Bud Dupree, let’s hope they make the right move. Either way, choosing to re-sign Bud Dupree or let him test the market will have huge implications on this team next season.