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The window to sign Bud Dupree to a long-term contract is officially closed

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The Steelers and Dupree had until 4PM Wednesday to work out a new deal

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

The deadline for the Pittsburgh Steelers to extend outside linebacker Bud Dupree to a long term contract if officially closed. The 6th year pro will now have to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag.

The NFL’s official calendar defines the period as the following:

“At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.”

As of this moment Dupree will have to play on his one year $15.828 million franchise tag. That is unless he wins his grievance where Dupree is trying to redefine his position as a defensive end which would bump his franchise tag cost up to $17.788 million in 2020.

Dupree broke out in 2019 setting career highs in tackles (68), sacks (11.5), and forced fumbles (4). Prior to 2019, Dupree’s career sack total sat at 20 sacks in 4 seasons, averaging 5 per year.

With the two sides unable to come to a new contract, the likelihood of Dupree remaining with the Steelers beyond 2020 is very questionable. With using the franchise tag a second time at a cost of more than $22 million seemingly an unwise decision at this point, the Steelers will only have from the end of the 2020 season to three days prior to the start of the league year in March to have exclusive negotiating rights before Dupree hits the open market.

What do you think? Will the Steelers and Dupree come to terms after the 2020 season? Or does missing today’s deadline spark the beginning of the end for Dupree’s tenure in Pittsburgh? Also how do you think Dupree’s grievance plays out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.