4 reasons Steelers Bud Dupree won’t be re-signed after 2020

Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Bud Dupree really came on strong before his injury, but here’s why he has played his final downs for the Steelers.

Bud Dupree has been a true success story as of late for the Steelers, as he has come into his own as a pass rusher despite a few slower years to begin his career. Playing across from T.J. Watt and the firing of Joey Porter has seemingly transformed his career. Both last season and this season, Dupree was on track for top tier numbers as an edge defender. While his late-season ACL tear is a concern for any team that would want to sign him, his stats back him up as a top impending free agent.

While it would be ideal for the Steelers to retain him, it doesn’t seem in the cards, even if his injury lowers his overall market value, he will still likely be far too expensive for the team to retain. With all of that said, here are the four reasons the Steelers won’t be able to retain Dupree.

Gauging his market value

While the ACL injury was certainly a blow, Dupree has plenty of reasons to earn a significant contract after this season. The issue will be the length of a deal he signs. A team may recognize his value despite the injury and try to lock him up long term. Likewise, a team may want to see how he responds from injury before committing to him long term. While an ACL injury has a good recovery rate, the fact that he suffered the injury so late in the season means he may start the year on the physically unable to perform list.

That said, pass rushers are a thin market, and it would be shocking to see him not earn a sizable contract next year. Looking at last year, a contract similar to Dante Fowler Jr. (15 million per year) seems like the basement of what his average value should be. On the higher side, Dupree could earn a contract similar to Frank Clark (20.8 million a season), as his stats before his injury were on pace to be better than any season Clark has had with the Chiefs. All said, his value now averages out at around 18 million per year.