After suffering a season-ending injury, is Bud Dupree looking for a new deal or a prove-it one?
Remember Jadeveon Clowney? Remember how at one point, we thought he’d get paid top-five pass-rusher money?
The former Houston Texans defensive end signed a one-year, $12 million deal to play in the Music City on another prove-it deal. Clowney played in just eight games last season with the Tennessee Titans and didn’t register a sack.
Hopefully things go better for Pittsburgh Steelers edge rusher Bud Dupree.
This offseason, there’s bound to be a name that falls in the free agency pool and bets on his production to earn him top dollar in 2021. According to one head coach, Dupree is the perfect candidate to fall in that category.
Is Bud Dupree a name that could need a prove-it deal?
“Bud Dupree is someone that is a real question mark for me,” a current head coach told FanSided’s Matt Lombardo. “If he was healthy, he’s easily the top pass-rusher hitting the open market, and teams would pay a king’s ransom to sign him. But, with him coming off a torn ACL, what exactly are you committing to? Does he want to go back to Pittsburgh? Who knows, but he’s someone that I think will wind up having to wait a while to sign.”
Dupree played last season with the Steelers under the franchise tag. It paid dividends for Pittsburgh’s pass rush as they led the NFL in sacks with the former first-rounder and Defensive Player of the Year finalist T.J. Watt coming off the edge.
Dupree’s injury though puts a damper on his free-agent market.
Over the past two seasons, Dupree has tallied 19.5 of his 39.5 total sacks in six seasons. In the prime of his career, Dupree would have been given a massive deal this offseason if not for the torn ACL.
Dupree’s injury likely sets him up for a “prove-it deal” instead of top pay. While his salary still could be roughly $12-15 million, it’ll only be for one season. And if he can’t produce similar numbers in 2021, that price will diminish in 2022.
Dupree could have entered free agency as the top pass rusher available if healthy. Now, he’ll have to hope his production wasn’t based on scheme fit, but rather pure talent for a bigger payday in the future.