The Pittsburgh Steelers need quality depth at many position on the defensive side of the ball, and outside linebacker would be one of those positions. To try and address this needed depth at the outside linebacker (OLB) position the team hosted a familiar face on a free agent visit.
That player would be none other than former Steelers first round pick, Bud Dupree. Dupree, who spent the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans is reportedly in Pittsburgh visiting the team.
This per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:
Potential reunion: #Steelers are bringing free-agent pass rusher Bud Dupree in for a visit, per sources.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 24, 2023
Dupree recorded 39.5 sacks over six seasons with Pittsburgh. He ended last season on IR with Titans but is now healthy. pic.twitter.com/y8p4LCQF6H
Dupree signed with the Titans in 2021 after he played the 2020 season on the franchise tag. The former Kentucky pass rusher was coming off a torn ACL, and never had sustained success in his new home.
During his time in Tennessee, Dupree was only able to put up 7 sacks in 22 total games played. Compare that to the 39.5 sacks in the six seasons in Pittsburgh. Dupree was often injured when with the Titans, and the Steelers are doing their homework on if Dupree is healthy before entertaining signing him back.
If Dupree was able to return, the deal would have to make financial sense for the Steelers, but also would have to make sense for Dupree from a playing time perspective. The Steelers were in a situation with Melvin Ingram when the organizational thought was Ingram was okay with being the third pass rusher on the depth chart. However, that wasn’t enough and Ingram eventually requested a trade out of Pittsburgh.
If healthy, and he is accepting of a rotational pass rusher role, Dupree returning could be a great addition to the Steelers roster.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 NFL offseason.