Forget Dupree, Steelers should get in on Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes

Some NFL team is about to make Bud Dupree a very rich man. Here’s why the Steelers should go all out for Jadeveon Clowney instead.

Free agency hasn’t even started, but Bud Dupree has been already generating a lot of buzz this offseason. After exploding for his best NFL performance in 2019, the former first-round pick is expected to haul in a massive payday.

According to Spotrac.com, Dupree’s estimated market value is $16.6 million per season. But instead of the Steelers forking up such a massive contract to a player with one year of production, should Pittsburgh go all-in on the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes?

As I have said in the past, there are many reasons to be concerned with giving Dupree such a massive deal. For starters, he has just one year of respectable productions in five seasons, and it’s unclear whether or not he will be able to repeat his success in 2020 and beyond.

Dupree was high on Pro Football Focus’s list of ‘free agents who carry the most risk’ due to his low-pressure rate (63rd in the NFL) and average pass-rush grade. Dupree’s estimated value of nearly $17 million per season seems unreasonably high in comparison to other players.

In fact, Jadeveon Clowney – the former number one overall pick in 2014 – is projected to earn just $3.4 million more per season. Considering his pedigree of work and the talent difference between the two players, perhaps Pittsburgh would be better off trying to land Clowney in free agency.

Clowney has never had off-the-wall production in the NFL, and 9.5 sacks are his career-high. However, the former top draft choice is constantly double-teamed and still finds a way to make plays in the backfield – earning 71 tackles for a loss his 75 career games.

Plugging him as the right edge defender opposite T.J. Watt would be utterly terrifying to opposing NFL offenses. With both players constantly requiring double-teams, one of these two guys is going to win on nearly every play.

Pittsburgh is currently just 30th in the NFL in cap space, and making a play at one of the NFL’s most coveted free agents is something they hardly ever do. However, the Steelers have some players who can be cut and restricted to create more cap space.

Anthony Chickillo and Mark Barron seem like obvious cut candidates this offseason, as the two defenders would instantly save Pittsburgh nearly $14.2 million.

Next: Ben Roethlisberger shouldn’t be considered the answer to a Steelers 2020 Super Bowl run.

There is no question that Dupree is a risky signing because of his one year of production and poor pressure rate. Perhaps the Steelers should fork up a little bit more money to land a significantly better football player in Jadeveon Clowney.

 

 

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