The Steelers must resign Bud Dupree, but not for the reasons you think
The Steelers risk losing credibility if Dupree is not resigned
I know what you’re thinking: How could you say that the Steelers risk losing credibility if Dupree is not resigned? He will become a free agent and thus is free to sign with whatever team offers him the right deal. That is true; however, what is also true is this: If we do not make every effort to resign Dupree, meaning if we do not ‘pony up’ the money necessary to resign him, we will lose credibility.
Here is what I mean by that: The Steelers had been an organization that was the envy of the rest of the league thanks to some stellar draft classes, particularly the 1974 draft class that saw four players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lately, we have been an organization that has been hit or miss with draft picks, especially first-round draft picks.
If the Steelers do not or cannot resign Dupree, it would be tantamount to admitting either one of two things. First, that the Steelers are an organization without the conviction to extend first-round picks rather than letting said first-rounds picks hit the free-agent market.
Obviously, not every first-round pick is worthy of being extended, but in the case of Dupree, the lack of depth that existed and still exists behind him was a sign that perhaps we should have extended him in 2018 rather than pick up the fifth-year option and now be in a position where we may not be able to resign him.
The second reason the Steelers are almost forced to resign Dupree is this: We absolutely cannot make it appear that we have lost the ability to draft, cultivate and keep good talent, particularly first-round talent. Like I stated at the beginning of the discussion, I think it is unfortunate the Dupree had his ‘breakout’ season in his contract year, but, as the saying goes, you can’t cry over spilled (spilt) milk.