Steelers already in jeopardy of losing Bud Dupree to NFC team

Bud Dupree may be leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers after six NFL seasons in his upcoming free agency, possibly to an NFC team.

Bud Dupree has been a fantastic pass rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers the last two seasons. However, it does not seem like he will be returning to Pittsburgh on another contract.

ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan said on the Breaking Big Blue podcast that there is serious interest in Dupree emanating out of the building of the team he covers for a living, the New York Giants. Dupree has spent all six of his NFL seasons with the Steelers since being drafted out of Kentucky in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He had 19.5 sacks the last two seasons for Pittsburgh.

“Bud Dupree is a guy I have my eyes on. I know there are people in the building who like him,” said Raanan. “Obviously, I don’t know if they’re willing to make that offer and go to that level because [he’s] coming off a serious knee injury. And there is risk in that, obviously.

“Also, he kind of blossomed the past two years, whereas the beginning of his career got off to a slow start. How much of that, do they determine, is the fact that he played alongside T.J. Watt? Definitely something you have to take into consideration.”

Bud Dupree could be an incredible player on Patrick Graham’s Giants defense

During Dupree’s first four years in the league out of Kentucky, there really wasn’t much to write home about. He never had more than six sacks in a season. However, he did see a huge uptick in output the last two years prior to get hurt. Dupree had a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2019. In only 11 games in 2020, Dupree still managed to bring the opposing quarterback to the turf eight times.

One thing that could hurt Dupree’s chances to return to Pittsburgh is he has only really been a high-end player playing alongside T.J. Watt, the straw that stirs the drink. Should Dupree leave Pittsburgh for New York, he could maintain his recent level of success in Patrick Graham’s Giants defense. His side of the ball really came on as the Giants started to figure it out in the second half.

If Dupree does leave the Steelers in free agency, it might be for the Giants for all we know.

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