What A Contract Extension For Steelers OLB Bud Dupree Could Look Like

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Bud Dupree just prior to the start of the new 2020 league year and that transaction results in the former first-round draft pick out of Kentucky now being scheduled to earn $15.828 million this season. The Steelers plan moving forward is to get Dupree signed to a long-term contract and they have until July 15 to get such a deal done. With that, it’s now time to look at what a new contract for Dupree might look like that would be fair for both sides.

In all likelihood, Dupree will be looking for a new five-year contract that will average slightly more than his franchise tag amount and one that will land him near, or in, the top 10 highest paid edge-rushers in the NFL. To think otherwise would be foolish. In short, expect Dupree to be looking for a new five-year contract that averages at least $16.75 million a season, which would rank him just a bit higher than Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, who averages $16.5 million per year as of a little more than a year ago. Below is a contract estimation for Dupree that averages $16.75 million per season.

The contract example below has Dupree receiving a $20 million signing bonus, a $4 million roster bonus in 2020 and a base salary this season of $2 million. In short, Dupree would stand to earn $26 million in 2020 with $20 million being guaranteed at signing with the other $6 million virtually guaranteed. His 2020 cap charge would be $10 million, which would be $5.828 million less than it’s currently scheduled to be as of him receiving the franchise tag.

To keep Dupree’s cash flow on schedule with most other big deals around the NFL, Dupree would receive another $14 million in 2021 with $5 million of that being a roster bonus due right after the start of the new league year next March. If need be, the Steelers could restructure Dupree’s contract next March should they need the extra cap space.

By the end of the third year of his contract, Dupree will have earned $55.5 million, according to my example. His largest cap charge of the contract also comes in 2022. The final two years of his five-year, $83.75 million contract includes Dupree earning a total of $28.25 million.

My example won’t turn out to be exactly right, but it should be fairly close to what the final deal for Dupree might look like and especially if it’s a five-year contract that averages between $16.75 and $17.25 million per season. The cash flow structure and bonus percentages are right in line with what the Steelers usually do with big contracts and the same goes for the roster bonuses in the first two years.

Make sure to bookmark this post for reference later this summer to see how close I came to my projection should Dupree ultimately sign a new contract by the July 15 deadline.

Bud Dupree Five-Year, $83.75 Million Contract Projection

2020 $2,000,000 $4,000,000 $4,000,000 $10,000,000 $26,000,000
2021 $9,000,000 $4,000,000 $5,000,000 $18,000,000 $40,000,000
2022 $15,500,000 $4,000,000 $0 $19,500,000 $55,500,000
2023 $14,250,000 $4,000,000 $0 $18,250,000 $69,750,000
2024 $14,000,000 $4,000,000 $0 $18,000,000 $83,750,000
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