Shaq Barrett is staying in Tampa. So is Romeo Okwara in Detroit. And Markus Golden is re-upping with Arizona. For Bud Dupree, that means one thing. His price just went up.
Dupree was expected to have a hot market once free agency began. Add in the fact he is now arguably the top pass rusher left on the board and some team will have to pay a pretty penny for his services. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport described the state of Dupree’s market.
“Bud Dupree’s market seems especially strong,” Rapoport said on NFL Network Monday. “Bud Dupree, coming off an ACL, it sounds like his rehab is going really well. I’ve talked to teams, they’re not concerned about it at all. This could be a guy who ends up near or at the top of the pass rush market. He can do a lot of things but most importantly, get to the quarterback. Even though his health, in any other year, you’d say was up in the air, this is a guy whose really going to get paid in the next couple of days.”
Dupree tore his ACL December first against the Baltimore Ravens, ending his season. But as he’s shown in several clips posted to social media, his rehab seems to be going along great. He’s said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp, which would obviously put him in position to play Week One.
Now it’s a question of exactly how much Dupree is about to make. Okwara received $13 million per season. Barrett got $17 million per year before incentives that boost the contract to upwards of $18 million. Dupree could surpass both contracts and touch the $20 million range. He has a complete skillset of pass rush, run defense, effort, and a little bit of coverage ability, too.
His hot market all but ensures he won’t remain a Steeler, though fans have suspected as much for quite some time. For Pittsburgh, their mission is to find EDGE depth behind TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith. There are currently zero backup OLBs on the roster right now. Ola Adeniyi wasn’t tendered, though could return on a cheaper deal, while Cassius Marsh and Jay Elliott are unrestricted free agents. One of those two could return but it’s unlikely they’d be anointed the #3.
In our free agency wishlist, we noted Takk McKinley, Vince Biegel, and Derek Rivers as potentially out-of-house options.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2021