The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to pick up the fifth-year option for the 2019 season on outside linebacker Bud Dupree, per a Monday morning report by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 23, 2018
Picking up Dupree’s fifth-year option now means he’s scheduled to earn $9.232 million in 2019, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry. The fifth-year option is guaranteed for injury only until the 2019 league year gets underway. The Steelers had until May 3 this year to decide if they wanted to pick up Dupree’s fifth-year option.
“I think Bud is… I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Bud Dupree, not from a lack of effort or preparation,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said a few weeks ago at the annual league meetings. “It’s just from really some health issues have hindered him along the way. He’s continuing to grow in that position and I think with him on one side and T.J. [Watt] on the other, those two will continue to grow and I think they’re gonna compliment each other. We saw signs of that last year and I think you’re going to continue to see growth and development in both of those players.”
Dupree, the Steelers first-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky, has registered 90 total tackles and 14.5 sacks in his first three seasons. The first half of his 2016 season was lost to a core muscle injury that required surgery. Last year, he reportedly battled a shoulder injury throughout the season.