Falcons To Sign OLB Bud Dupree

Bud Dupree Steelers reunion will not take place this year. The veteran pass rusher is instead set to join the Falcons on a one-year deal (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that the contract has a maximum value of $5MM.

The 30-year-old joined the Titans in 2021 with massive expectations given his production in Pittsburgh. He failed to live up to them, however, and spent only two underwhelming campaigns in Nashville. Dupree was one of several veterans the Titans have moved on from this offseason, and he has spent the past few weeks weighing his options as he looks to rebuild his value.

That process included a visit with the Steelers, something which led to the belief that a deal sending him back to Pittsburgh could be forthcoming. It was with the Steelers that Dupree spent the first six years of his career, a stretch which included his 11.5-sack campaign in 2019. Injuries were among the reasons he was unable to replicate that success in Tennessee, though, and it comes as little surprise that he is inking a prove-it deal worth far less than the five-year, $82MM accord he landed the last time he was a free agent.

Pittsburgh remained a serious contender for Dupree, Schefter’s colleague Jeremy Fowler tweets. It was the latter’s insistence on a one (rather than two-year) pact which steered him away, however. As a result, he represents the latest significant addition made on defense by the Falcons, a team which has been busy on both the free agent and trade fronts in targeting upgrades on that side of the ball.

That has included the big-ticket signing of safety Jessie Bates and, more recently, the trade which allowed them to acquire cornerback Jeff Okudah from the Lions. Those deals will make an impact on the Falcons’ secondary, but Dupree will look to help the team’s pass rush, something which has been a significant weak spot in recent years. Atlanta recorded 21 sacks last season, the second-lowest figure in the league. Dupree’s form in Tennessee suggests he won’t make a massive impact on that total, but he will provide a noteworthy presence on the edge for the new-look defense.

Atlanta entered Friday with slightly more than $10.3MM in cap space, a figure which will drop considerably with this deal now in place. Even if it is the last notable one on the free agent front, the team is in line to take a considerable step forward on defense in particular in 2023. Dupree, meanwhile, will look to put together a healthy campaign for the first time since 2019 and earn himself a new deal next offseason in the process.

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