GM Omar Khan and assistant GM Andy Weidl haven’t been messing around during the free agency portion of the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The front office has managed to bring back S Damontae Kazee, DL Larry Ogunjobi, and CB James Pierre while bringing in outside free agents OG Isaac Seumalo, IOL, Nate Herbig, LBs Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts, and CB Patrick Peterson.
While it appears as if Pittsburgh has done enough to shore up the interior of the OL and will hold off on adding another CB or ILB before the draft, the team still has some notable holes that would benefit from the addition of a veteran yet in free agency. I wrote an article yesterday detailing how the Steelers may look to draft a safety in the middle rounds of the draft to replace Terrell Edmunds, who remains on the open market. Still, Edmunds could return to Pittsburgh as his market appears cold for the second consecutive year.
Bringing back Edmunds would make a lot of sense. It would keep the safety room together from last season when Edmunds, Kazee, and Minkah Fitzpatrick played well together down the stretch. However, it has been reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the Steelers have preliminary interest in reuniting with OLB Bud Dupree who was released by the Tennessee Titans shortly after the new league year last week. According to Anderson, Pittsburgh has expressed desire to bring back Dupree should he be healthy after dealing with multiple injuries the last two seasons and his market be at a reasonable price.
Bringing Dupree back into the fold would create quite the trio on the edge for the Steelers as several players have already mentioned since his release from Tennessee, calling the combination of Dupree, Alex Highsmith, and T.J. Watt a three-headed monster should it come to fruition.
Both Dupree and Edmunds are former first-round picks and have represented themselves well during their respective tenures with the franchise. So, which one is more likely to come back between Bud Dupree and Terrell Edmunds?
The easy answer here would be Edmunds as he was just with the team last season, doesn’t expect to make much more than the veteran minimum out on the open market, has been extremely durable throughout his career, and is still only 26 years old. Dupree, on the other hand, just turned 30, has dealt with knee, abdominal, and hip injuries the last couple of years, and likely will cost more to sign given the demand for pass rushers relative to safeties on the open market.
Personally, I would likely to see Dupree brought back as the player with more potential to have a greater impact to the defense, if he is indeed healthy. However, Pittsburgh may only have enough cap space to get one of these two deals done. The more realistic scenario is that the Steelers do indeed re-sign Edmunds prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, just like last offseason, and drafts a OLB somewhere in the middle rounds to give themselves a long-term solution at OLB behind Watt and Highsmith.