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Bud Dupree is the perfect candidate for a one-year tag

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by Hawaii 5-0, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Hawaii 5-0

    Hawaii 5-0 Well-Known Member

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    Joe Starkey: Bud Dupree is the perfect candidate for a one-year tag

    JOE STARKEY
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    JAN 2, 2020

    We rip ’em when they’re wrong, so let’s give the Steelers credit on linebacker Bud Dupree. They were right.

    It took a while, but they were right.

    Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, Keith Butler and Art Rooney II kept telling us they were pleased with Dupree. We wondered why.

    They kept telling us Dupree would continue to improve and eventually become the player the Steelers projected him to be. We wondered when.

    In his 30s?

    In his 40s?

    Would a gray-haired, balding Bud Dupree set the league aflame at age 53?

    I mean, we were four years into the man’s career (though he did miss most of 2016), and he wasn’t exactly doing a Lawrence Taylor remake. He wasn’t even doing a Lawrence Timmons remake.

    Nobody thought of Timmons as a premier pass rusher, yet as an inside linebacker in his third NFL season he recorded seven sacks. Dupree, going into year five as an outside backer, still hadn’t topped six sacks and had forced all of two fumbles in his entire career.

    So yeah, plenty of us wondered what Rooney was talking about when he said of Dupree after last season, “There was some progress.”

    Plenty of us rolled our eyes when Dupree kept saying he was that close to a bunch more sacks. All we saw was a guy who kept running past quarterbacks like he was looking for screen passes in reverse.

    Plenty of us laughed when Butler said, “Everyone is questioning Bud, but I think Bud is going to be a good football player.”

    Again, when?

    The Steelers put their money where their mouths were. They picked up the expensive fifth-year option ($9.232 million) on Dupree. That meant he suddenly had the largest base salary and fourth-largest cap hit on the team.

    Colbert claimed there was “no hesitation” in making that move. Tomlin said, “We’re comfortable he’s going to meet the challenge.”

    Seemed questionable at the time.

    Seems brilliant now.

    The Steelers were right, and then some. They turned Dupree loose more often. He responded like a champion. He had 11.5 sacks, matching his total from the previous two years combined. According to Pro Football Focus, only four players who rushed predominantly from the right side were more effective than Dupree.

    He doubled his career total in forced fumbles, with four, and doubled his career total in recovered fumbles with two. PFF numbers show Dupree was asked to rush the passer 73 more times this season than last and was put in coverage 52 fewer times.

    There’s another big question surrounding Dupree this offseason, and it is not one we’ve heard until now: Will the Steelers do everything they can to keep him?

    After waiting this long for him to break out?

    How could the answer be anything but yes?

    They finally have a new version of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. It would be a shame to break it up after one great year — and there is no need. As the Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo wrote Thursday, “It won’t be all that difficult for the Steelers to get the cap space that’s needed to sign Dupree, who would account for more than $16 million on the one-year franchise tag.”

    The Steelers can create cap space by cutting various veterans whose time is up. They could start with a couple of linebackers in Anthony Chickillo and Mark Barron and go from there.

    Dupree is actually a perfect candidate for a tag. The Steelers are operating in small windows here. Watt is due a mega extension after next season, and you probably can’t pay two outside linebackers huge money on long-term deals. But you can pay Dupree next season.

    Ben Roethlisberger is expected back, as well, and if he is anything close to his normal self — hardly guaranteed — the Steelers will have a chance to win it all.

    It sure sounded like Tomlin’s all in, when at his season=-ending news conference he said, “Make no mistake: Bud Dupree is a priority for us.”

    I’m not sure what held Dupree back for so long. Maybe he was playing the wrong side for too long. Maybe he was playing injured a lot. And he did miss most of the 2016 season.

    All I know is this: Lots of us were wrong.

    And the Steelers were right.

    https://www.post-gazette.com/sports...idate-for-a-one-year-tag/stories/202001020181
     
  2. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    I was more frustrated than anything with Dupree. The length of time for him to blossom into what he is now is what fueled my frustration. Glad though he has finally arrived and I could not be any more happy for him if I tried.



    Unrelated I know but I REALLY hope the same can be said for Terrell Edmunds when his time comes. I really want him to succeed. Much like Dupree, I truly hope the game starts to click for him.
     
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  3. Iowasteeljim

    Iowasteeljim

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    I had faith in Bud, and I still do in Edmunds, although not as much as I did Bud.
     
  4. The Glory Days

    The Glory Days Well-Known Member

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    If Edmunds were to put it all together next season, we dump Chick and Baron, and are able to keep Bud and Watt healthy for the season, our defense would be a legit top 3, and that's by MY standards.
     
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  5. Blast Furnace

    Blast Furnace Staff Member Mod Team

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    Yeah, I’m not all that bothered by how long it took Dupree. Knew he was raw coming out, I figured 3 years, took 4.

    People scoffed at the excuse of the amount of times he dropped into coverage having an affect on his sack total. Apparently pretty big difference.

    Tag also allows them to make sure he is not a 1 season wonder. I don’t think he is, I think he’s arrived.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. 86WardsWay

    86WardsWay Well-Known Member

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    I think Bud will be back next season but to say "They finally have a new version of James Harrison" is laughable. Woops, My apologies SDOT. Traitorson.;)
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 5
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. The Glory Days

    The Glory Days Well-Known Member

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    Nice catch. You almost opened a big can of worms there. ;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  8. troybellringer55

    troybellringer55 Well-Known Member

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    Well it would keep the Dupree and Watt duo together another year.

    Watt will be controlled the next 2 season at least. He has a 5th year option.

    But if he keeps up his level of play with 14 sacks he won't be too pleased with his pay.
     
  9. Blast Furnace

    Blast Furnace Staff Member Mod Team

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    They weren't saying Bud was the new Harrison, just that they finally have a productive duo in Watt/Bud since Harrison/Woodley.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. SteelersFanIrl

    SteelersFanIrl Well-Known Member

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    Watt is not getting to that fifth year option. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start looking for an extension this off season. The saints paid Thomas after his third year, Cowboys paid Elliot after year three as well. Watt has earned an extension more than anybody on the team, he is outperforming his contract to the point where it is almost absurd not to pay him early.

    I haven’t heard any noise from him or his agent but I’d be surprised if they are not pushing behind the scenes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. turtle

    turtle

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    Well Colbert didn't bat an eye for the 9mil deal last year and most of us thought that was insanely high...I know I did. I wasn't much of a fan when he was drafted and did not think his play was worthy of a first rounder the first couple years. I have said in the past he didn't play like a first rounder but like an average NFL starter. But other than the one year, he has been on the field regularly.
    I'm still not sold on him completely so if they do re-sign him I hope it is very incentive laden but I doubt it will be. He'll just sign elsewhere if that's the case.
    16 mil is crazy money though and would hamstring us for hargrave and others....
     
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  12. 86WardsWay

    86WardsWay Well-Known Member

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    OK. I see it now. Skimmed right thru it the first time.
     
  13. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

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    TJ only has to look at his brother JJ to see how fragile a NFL career is. One play and his big money dream could be gone. If he and his agent are smart they’re looking to press the issue on a new deal. Wonder if TJ would face the wrath of the fans for doing what’s best for him?
     
  14. Formerscribe

    Formerscribe Well-Known Member

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    I was hearing this entire thing in Starkey's voice. He probably went on a little too long with his opening gag, but his overall point is a good one. I do think he could have developed the idea of why Dupree is such a perfect candidate for the franchise tag. He left out that the tag is a lot safer than trying to sign him long term because Dupree still has only done it once. He also left out that Dupree has said he will accept the franchise tag, an important point after what happened with Bell.

    I'm still not sure if Dupree can be trusted once he gets paid, but the tag will take that worry out of the equation, at least for 2020. He would once again be playing for his next contract, which worked out quite well for him and for the team in 2019.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. groutbrook

    groutbrook

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    You should grade Starkey's article and send it back to him.;+)
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  16. Steel Hog

    Steel Hog Well-Known Member

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    I am a little apprehensive on keeping DuPree. Just coincidence that he started playing like a 1st round pick in his last year of rookie contract. I say BS. Bush didn't pull that crap as well as many of the other rookies that contributed in their first year. What makes anyone confident that after he gets the money he doesn't revert to the Old DePree or becomes injury prone? A year ago everyone, and I mean everyone, wanted him gone yesterday. Now, he's a must keep for a ton of money? Not saying it would be wrong but I am not so confident that this turns out like we hope.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  17. blake duerden

    blake duerden Well-Known Member

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    yup he cant hold out on the tag,
    dudpree needs to show he can do ot again which im sure he can
     
    • Very Optimistic Very Optimistic x 1
  18. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure Dupree having a real OLB coach in Butler instead of Porter has helped him, also because the secondary is better Watt and Dupree aren't dropping into coverage that much anymore.
     
  19. Steel_Elvis

    Steel_Elvis Staff Member Mod Team

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    Last offseason I was pushing hard on letting Dupree go, and signing Shaq Barrett instead. I’m glad Dupree finally broke out, but Barrett had 19.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles for a terrible Tampa Bay defense. He signed a 1 year, $5 million deal last year vs. Dupree’s $9.3.

    So, I was wrong on Bud. He had a very nice season. However, I can’t help but wonder what the price tag would have been last year to sign Shaq for 3-4 years.
     
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  20. CK 13

    CK 13 Well-Known Member

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    With needs to make this offense better and being as usual pressed up against the cap 16 mill to me for a player who all of a sudden turned his play around premature. I am not for throwing that kind of coin at Alvin.

    I feel the defense will do just fine without Dupree. Its the offensive needs that concern me. Will we see a healthy Ben? Will Glass McDonald come back healthy? Will Conner? Nix? Can AV turn his play around? Will Pouncey ? Finney is a UFA. Can Snell become a force? Will Juju become the true #1? So many questions going forward to the offensive side. Oh and the great Ol Randy is back :facepalm:

    Best get a balanced attack, a revamped O Line with a different O line coach. Add a QB coach as well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  21. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

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    I’m one of his biggest critics but I could live with Dupree on a tag for another season. I just wouldn’t commit long term. I feel we should be on a 1-2 year plan with the hope we can ride with Ben for those 1-2 years. If Ben doesn’t come back it’s going to be time for a minor rebuild. IMO they have to make up their minds on how they are going to go about drafting for the next 1-2 years. We can’t be on both sides of the fence trying to keep things afloat or gearing up for a rebuild. We need to decide to go all in for and with Ben or not. I guess we’ll know more in Feb. but if it looks like Ben will recover we should be super aggressive in the draft to find the missing pieces we need for the next couple years.
     
  22. bigbenhotness

    bigbenhotness Well-Known Member

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    Watt doesnt have off field drama, is rarely hurt, is improving each season and doesn't disappear in big games. Not to mention he is our best defensive player.

    He deserves any money he asks
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  23. Formerscribe

    Formerscribe Well-Known Member

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    Well played.

    Pardon me. I read it differently because I've worked with Joe.
     
  24. groutbrook

    groutbrook

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    I read that the franchise tag on Dupree would cost 16.2 mil$ for 2020. Yikes.
     
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  25. bigbenhotness

    bigbenhotness Well-Known Member

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    that's a big yikes. we are in cap hell. thanks BEN lol
     
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