With the new league year, and thus free agency, now just around the corner, things are beginning to heat up. Beginning today with the ‘legal tampering window’ opening up, we are about to be bombarded with more buzz than a beehive. In preparation for that, we have one more ‘prediction’ piece for you, from ESPN, waying in on the potential landing spots for two of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ most high-profile free agents.
Dan Graziano and NFL Nation ran a simulated offseason recently for the outlet, taking a stab at where some notable players will wind up, and among them are two of the Steelers’ own in wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and outside linebacker Bud Dupree. As it turns out, both of them will end up in the same building, based on this prognostication—but for different organizations.
As has frequently been the case, the piece wagers that Smith-Schuster will end up signing with the New York Jets, where he would reunite—at least temporarily, perhaps—with his former college teammate and quarterback, Sam Darnold.
As for Dupree, who unfortunately suffered a torn ACL late last season while playing under the franchise tag, his expected landing spot is the New York Giants, a team that has frankly been in need of support on the edge for some years now.
The predicted offer from the Jets comes in at five years for $87.5 million, which, if you don’t have your calculator handy, checks in at an average per year salary of $17.5 million. It also includes $37.5 million guaranteed, which is fairly robust and certainly more than he could get from the Steelers.
Dupree weighs three different offers, one a one-year deal from the Cleveland Browns for $10.5 million. He ultimately is offered $64 million over four years with $42 million guaranteed from the Giants, which, frankly, is not happening.
One thing is sure though, and that is that it’s very plausible each of these players ends up signing some type of deal that takes them away from the Steelers. In fact, it’s far more likely than not. They definitely won’t be signing both, but even retaining one will prove to be extremely challenging.