The Pittsburgh Steelers have a looming decision to make with Bud Dupree. Here’s what some of the fans are hoping for this offseason.
Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers heard some good news. The deadline to designate franchise tags was supposed to take place on Tuesday, March 10th, but the date has officially been pushed back. Now all organizations have until Monday by noon to designate the tag. While the Steelers are expected to use the franchise tag on Bud Dupree this offseason, this decision gives them a few more days to think it through.
New timeline for the NFL week ahead:
Saturday, 11:59 p.m.: Players’ vote on proposed CBA ends
Monday, 11:59:59 a.m.: Franchise/transition tag deadline
Monday, noon: Negotiating window opens
Wednesday 3/18, 4 p.m.: League year and free agency begin
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2020
Though there is still time to work out a long-term deal, Pittsburgh will likely be required to give Dupree the franchise tag first.
There has been a lot of speculation and varying opinions by both the fans and Pittsburgh media as to what to do with Dupree. The former first-round pick is entering his 6th NFL seasons, but had his first notable year in 2019 when he collected 68 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and 16 tackles for a loss.
Though our opinions will not change the direction the Steelers will look to go, I took the liberty of taking a poll on Twitter. I gave fans three choices of what to do with the edge defender. The results may surprise you:
What should the #Steelers do with Bud Dupree:
— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) March 9, 2020
After a total of 302 votes, 45 percent of fans ruled in favor of giving the franchise tag to Dupree. Remarkably, the second-place vote was not to give him a contract extension. Rather, 36.1 percent of fans voted to let him hit the market this year in favor of signing another edge defender. Dead last was an extension for Dupree – a number that has been estimated at $16.6 million, according to Spotrac.com.
It was interesting to see such a large portion of fans voted to part ways with Dupree this offseason. And while there are a handful of capable edge defenders that may hit the market very soon, it’s unclear which ones will be returning to their current teams, and whether or not the Steelers have the firepower to bring in a player of Dupree’s caliber.
There are tons of justifiable questions about Bud Dupree that we just don’t have the answer to. Is he a one-year wonder? Why did it take him until his fifth season to breakout? Was he a product of T.J. Watt and a great defensive line? Can he continue to produce at this rate in the future?
Dupree unquestionably holds a lot of risk in a long-term extension. However, the franchise tag is certainly something that needs to be considered. Though Dupree may not be one of the top edge defenders in the league, he is about to be paid like one – whether that money comes from the Steelers or another organization is completely up to Pittsburgh.