The Wednesday 4:00 p.m. EST deadline for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign franchise tagged outside linebacker Bud Dupree to a long-term contract extension has now passed and the indication is that it did so without a deal being struck between the two sides.
Assuming no surprising reports to the contrary surface in the next hour, Dupree’s only choice at that point will be to play the 2020 season under the one-year, $15.828 million franchise tag that was issued to him just prior to the start of the league year in March. Dupree has since signed that tag and filed a grievance against his positional designation as he’s hoping to be classified as a defensive end, which comes with a slightly higher tag amount of $17.788 million.
Assuming no deal was consummated, 2020 is now likely to be Dupree’s final season in Pittsburgh as a member of the Steelers. While the organization will have the right to franchise Dupree a second-consecutive time ahead of the start of the 2021 league year, such a tag amount would be the equivalent of a 120 percent increase over what his 2020 tag amount was, or the franchise tag amount for 2021, whichever is higher. Assuming Dupree’s linebacker tag amount sticks following his grievance, his 2021 tag amount would likely be $18.9936 million.
Dupree, who was the Steelers first-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Kentucky, has recorded 31.5 sacks, 200 tackles, 6 forced fumbles and an interception in the 70 total regular season games he’s played in so far. Last season, Dupree registered single season career highs in sacks (11.5), tackles (68) and forced fumbles (4).
At this point, it will now be interesting to see if any reports surface indicating what the Steelers best and final long-term offer to Dupree was.