2021 Offseason Questions: What Will Bud Dupree’s Market Look Like?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: What sort of market will there be for Bud Dupree in terms of both annual salary and length of contract?

First of all, apologies for the late start, but ‘technical difficulties’ precluded me from running anything in the morning.

Bud Dupree isn’t a player who has ever made a Pro Bowl. At the same time, he is certainly one of the more productive edge rushers hitting the open market, particularly over the span of the last two seasons. He also happens to be rehabbing a torn ACL, but such injuries are not a deleterious on the open market as they once were.

There has already been a wide divide in speculation about what kind of contract the seventh-year veteran will land for himself, running as low as a one-year, $6 million deal, a suggestion that Dupree himself laughed at.

But we are also in an unpredictable offseason right now, without even having a good sense of where the salary cap is going to fall. The only thing that we know for sure right now is that it cannot be less than $175 million—and it very likely will not rise from last season’s number. The bulk of speculation has it landing somewhere between $180-188 million, but we will only know for sure when a number is announced.

The Steelers will b e hard-pressed to be in the mix for Dupree even under the most favorable circumstances, but it still matters to them whatever deal he lands, because should he sign with another team, it would land them a compensatory draft pick if the deal is large enough.

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