4 takeaways from Steelers losses early in free agency

Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Mike Hilton #28 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Bud Dupree was overpaid

Disagree with me if you will, but I truly believe Bud Dupree got more money than he was deserving of in free agency. The Tennessee Titans made Dupree an offer he couldn’t refuse and the former first-round pick cashed in on a 5-year, $82.5 million deal with a whopping $35 million guaranteed. This will earn Dupree $16.5 million per season.

Though he struggled to take off in his first three seasons, Dupree really started to come alive in years four and five for Pittsburgh. In 2019, Dupree posted career-high numbers in tackles (68), sacks (11.5), tackles for a loss (16), quarterback hits (17), and forced fumbles (4). Dupree was on pace for another impressive season in 2020 before tearing his ACL after 11 games last year.

However, despite his respectable production, the Titans might not get their money’s worth out of this deal. It’s important to consider that Dupree had the benefit of playing opposite of T.J. Watt as well as lining up alongside Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt who demand attention. He was also in a blitz-heavy scheme and saw a lot of free rushes that helped contribute to his production. Bud Dupree is a solid football player, but that’s a lot of money to fork up for a guy who was clearly the second fiddle on the team. At least he will award the Steelers a nice compensatory pick in 2022.