Steelers Exercise Bud Dupree’s Option

The Steelers have exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Bud Dupree, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Dupree’s option was considered likely to be exercised, but it was not a slam dunk decision. 

[RELATED: PFR’s 2019 Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

Dupree, 25, had a career highs in sacks (6) and total tackles (40) last season. However, he missed more than half of 2016 with a groin injury and was inconsistent as a rookie. They now believe the former 2015 first-round pick is on track for a solid career, so they’ll extend his deal through 2019 with a salary of $9.2MM+ in the final year.

Dupree is slated to return as the Steelers’ starting left outside linebacker with T.J. Watt on the opposite side and Vince Williams and offseason pickup Jonathan Bostic in the middle. The Steelers could target an ILB in the draft to start ahead of Bostic, but Dupree’s spot is secure.

For what it’s worth, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus have never been high on the Kentucky product. Last year, his 49.0 overall score ranked him as the eighth-worst qualified edge defender in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Steelers Exercise Bud Dupree’s Option

    • tsolid

      You’ll take a guy that hasn’t been able to stay on the field the last couple of years? Good Luck missing the playoffs with guys like that.

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    • gozurman1

      T J will do well. Dupree will do well. One thing to keep in mind is that the Steelers were dropping Dupree and Watt into pass coverage more than they did with with previous OLB because they actually can cover TE and backs. That is one reason why they did not have a lot of sacks.

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      • tsolid

        I can’t count how many times Watt ran right past the runner, or dove inside and lost contain vs the run last year, trying to get to the QB. He needs to be better vs the run this year.

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    • madmanTX

      JJ is almost done with all his injuries. TJ is just gonna get better and better.

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