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Dulac: Dupree Extension Would Have To Happen After Watt Deal, ‘Not Expected’ In 2020

I think by now the majority of us have learned to take pretty much all reporting with some seasoning, particularly salt (a grain or more, to taste). Reports from some writers more than others might require adjustments to the recipe to make it palatable.

We know this, of course; nevertheless, we report what is out there, while trying to put it into context, at least with our own educated guesses. Yesterday, after Bud Dupree signed his franchise tag, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat writer Gerry Dulac wrote on Twitter that the sixth-year outside linebacker is “not expected to sign a long-term agreement in 2020”.

He went on, writing that “it wouldn’t happen, at least, until after T.J. Watt signs his big contract extension”, and that “Bud knows that”.

Watt is entering the fourth year of his contract and the Steelers will soon be picking up his fifth-year option. To date, they have never signed a first-round pick to an extension prior to his being scheduled to play under his fifth-year option year.

In order for Dupree to be signed after Watt is signed, that would have to mean either that the Steelers get a long-term deal with Watt done prior to mid-July, which is the deadline during which teams can negotiate long-term deals with tagged players, or that he would have to be re-signed next offseason, if at all.

The underlying suggestion here at least to me appears to present the idea that the Steelers are not going to try particularly hard to negotiate a long-term contract extension with Dupree over the course of the next three months, which would fly in the face of what we’ve heard from the team.

Almost exactly a month ago, in fact, general manager Kevin Colbert spoke to Missi Matthews for the team’s website, saying, “if we use the franchise tag, our goal is to still sign you and get you locked up as a Steeler for the rest of your career”.

While it doesn’t always work out that the Steelers are able to complete a long-term contract extension for the players to whom they give the franchise tag—they failed not once but twice with Le’Veon Bell—historically, it has always been done with the intention of it happening.

By no means am I suggesting that the team and Dupree will successfully work out a long-term deal by July. I’m not even offering that it’s more likely to happen than not. But the implication that they are not even going to try, which is suggested by the idea that they would only do it after extending Watt first, doesn’t at all feel to me a reflection of reality.

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