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 #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Would the Steelers commit long term?

Dupree may have been a late bloomer, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the better pass rushers in the league. A long-term commitment with a player that was so shaky their first few years may seem like a risk, but it seems unlikely that the Steelers would avoid giving Dupree a contract like this because of his early struggles. He has consistently improved every year and appears to be a talent that is on the rise.

The issue with a long-term deal is the injury, as Dupree has never had an injury quite as severe as an ACL tear. While the recovery from this injury is good, it will be up to Dupree to ensure he returns to form. One just has to recall Lamar Woodly to see a player that allowed injuries to damage his conditioning and as a result, ruin his career. Dupree isn’t guaranteed to turn into that, but it still makes the idea of a long-term deal worrisome.

What is more likely is that Dupree gets a deal for one to three years instead. That way, he can prove that he is recovered as well as allowing him the chance to get to another payday before he is too old. The issue for the Steelers wouldn’t be contract length, it would be price then. It is easy to backload a contract, so the first-year cap hit is minimal. The fewer years on the deal means the higher the first-year cap hit would be. Simply put, the fact that the team may shy away from a five-year deal with him makes giving him a new contract extremely difficult.