It’s going to be an interesting offseason for Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree as not only is he scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year in March, he’s also currently recovering from ACL surgery that he had in early December. On Wednesday, Dupree was a guest on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, and he talked about how his knee rehab is going and when he expects to be fully recovered.
“I’m feeling great right now,” Dupree said. “I’m ahead of schedule in rehab. It’s a great thing as always, it’s a blessing. I’m on track. And I’m going to be ready for camp. It’s a blessing to take the small things from a big injury like there was, and just know that I’m still able to perform next season.”
While Dupree stated he expects to be ready for training camp this coming summer, there’s a very strong chance that he’ll be a member of another team by them. Despite Dupree sustaining such an unfortunate and untimely injury last season, the former first-round draft out of Kentucky is still likely to find at least one team willing to pay him at least $10 million for the 2021 season during the offseason to prove that he can pick up right where he left off at in 2020.
Had Dupree not suffered his right knee injury in early December, his free agent market price this offseason would likely have been as high as $20 million per year. After all, Dupree had registered 31 total tackles, eight of which went for lost yardage, eight sacks, 15 quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed in the 11 games he played in 2020. That came on the heels of him registering 11.5 sacks in 2019.
Dupree has been great about posting video updates of his knee rehab on his social media accounts and it looks like he’s now back walking again. It usually takes players at least nine full months to recovery from ACL surgery so that would put Dupree at around early August to be ready, which would be not too long after training camps around the NFL got underway.