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Key decisions which can shape the 2019 Steelers, Part 3: Bud Dupree

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some big decisions coming up which can shape the 2019 team.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, and most recently the Antonio Brown saga has been the headline for any website covering the NFL. While fans of the black-and-gold are engulfed in Brown news and rumors, there are still some extremely important aspects of the team which should be discussed.

Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and company have some tough decisions to make this offseason, and not just decisions on the fringe players trimming the roster from 90 to 53, but decisions which could really change the landscape of the team in the near future.

This will be a series breaking down each decision at a time, and the next player on the list is someone who is due a hefty sum of money, but is he worth all that cash? We are talking about: Bud Dupree

Player: Bud Dupree

Issue: Big salary cap hit, not so great production

Reason to Stay: Believe it or not, but Dupree is coming off a career year. While most simply look at sack totals for 3-4 outside linebackers there is so much more in the Steelers’ current scheme. Dupree finished the year with 5.5 sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 3 Pass Defenses, 1 Interception, 1 TD and 42 total tackles. Other than the sack totals, his season high is 6 sacks set in 2017, Dupree set career marks in all other categories. The switch from left outside linebacker to the right side seemed to pay dividends for Dupree this year, and the Steelers should be excited about his development moving forward.

Reason to Leave: Dupree might have shown improvement, but he certainly isn’t about to break out and have double-digit sacks anytime soon. He simply isn’t that kind of player, and so the hefty salary he could be taking on seems to be a bit much for a player who might be starting to come into his own, but hasn’t proven himself yet. The Steelers would be wise to try and get Dupree a new contract, maybe a 3-year deal where he can make a salary which is indicative of his production, if not, then he very well could be sent packing.

Predicted Outcome: I think the Steelers have always liked the raw skill Dupree possesses. The move to the right side this year is promising enough for the Steelers to want to keep him around, but I find it hard to believe they want to play him the $9,232,000 he is due on the 5th year option. The Steelers want him back, and they should, but not at that price. I expect the Steelers and Dupree can work out a new deal, similar to the one Vince Williams signed prior to last season, to help make Dupree’s cap hit more manageable, and better reflect what his true value is to the team currently.

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What do you think will happen with Dupree? Will he the Steelers get a new deal done with him? Is he trade fodder? Or will he be given the full amount of his 5th year option? Let us know in the comment section!

Other parts of this series:

Part 1: Chris Boswell
Part 2: Marcus Gilbert