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Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers’ impending decision to franchise tag Bud Dupree

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have to make a decision on Bud Dupree’s future with the team soon. If they franchise tag him, what grade would this decision get?

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a difficult decision on their hands, and the entire fan base knows what it is — to franchise tag Bud Dupree, or not?

There are two sides to this debate within the fan base, and many feel very passionately about their particular take on the subject. Those who talk about keeping the defense together, and having two above average pass rushers will help the defense keep them in every game. Then there are those who look at the team from a financial standpoint and see Dupree, who has only one stellar season on his resume, as not worth the risk.

If you listen to General Manager Kevin Colbert’s comments about Dupree, it seems as if it is a foregone conclusion an tag will be placed on Dupree. It might be the exclusive rights franchise tag, or a transition tag, but the team wants to keep Dupree under their control for as long as possible, even if it is for the tag-and-trade option.

Regardless of what side of the debate you reside, Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon took it upon himself to grade every possible tag which could be made across the NFL, and of course Dupree was on the list.

Check out the grade he would give the Steelers if, or when, they place a tag on the former Kentucky product:

Bud Dupree

Price: $15.8 million

Grade: B

  1. In a perfect Pittsburgh sports world, the cap-strapped Steelers would find a way to keep rising edge-rusher Bud Dupree on a long-term contract that would give them more immediate financial flexibility. But the Steelers are right in that they can’t afford to let Dupree get away, which is why this earns a decent grade despite its adverse financial implications.
  2. The 27-year-old 2015 first-round pick suffered some growing pains in his first few seasons, but he was one of just four players with more than 10 sacks and more than three forced fumbles in 2019. He’s got a star-level ceiling, and he and T.J. Watt look like they could be one of the league’s best pass-rushing duos for years to come.
  3. Most critically, the Steelers are trying to win now while the championship window remains slightly open. Ben Roethlisberger is 38, his team has a much better chance with Dupree in the fold, and it would essentially be taking advantage of a discount with the tag value at his position.
  4. It’s a no-brainer, though a long-term deal would still be preferable.

There are those who feel strongly about not placing a tag on Dupree, and so their grade would likely be much lower than a B. But, if you can remove yourself from the debate, and look at it from all sides, what would you grade the move, assuming it happens?

Let us know by voting in the poll below, and be sure to explain yourself in the comment section below!

Poll

What grade would you give the Steelers if/when they choose to tag Bud Dupree?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    A
    (174 votes)
  • 39%
    B
    (388 votes)
  • 27%
    C
    (271 votes)
  • 10%
    D
    (108 votes)
  • 5%
    F
    (51 votes)
992 votes total Vote Now

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