The Pittsburgh Steelers have a need at the outside linebacker position, and the need for a quality No. 3 pass rusher is a serious one for the black-and-gold. After the failed Melvin Ingram III experiment, the Steelers have relied solely on their current roster to provide the necessary depth at the position.
Last season the Steelers acquired Malik Reed from the Denver Broncos before rosters were cut to 53-players, but Reed never provided anything resembling a dynamic pass rusher. As the team prepares for the 2023 NFL Draft many fans are wondering if the team will address this position in the form of a reunion with a former first round pick.
That would be none other than Bud Dupree.
In case you missed it last week, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported the Steelers hosted Dupree on a free agent visit:
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
A big part of this scenario is the overall health of Dupree. Not only did Dupree tear his ACL before leaving Pittsburgh, but battled a number of injuries after signing with the Tennessee Titans. His lack of overall production, plus a hefty salary cap hit, equated in Dupree being a cap casualty in Nashville.
Where he’s off to next who knows #buddupree #steelers #herewego pic.twitter.com/ep9IPAP9HD— matthew luciow (@Luciow1992) March 29, 2023
The news last week of the Steelers hosting Dupree had fans of the team waiting for the announcement of his signing, yet it hasn’t come.
I'm just sitting here waiting for Bud Dupree to sign with the Steelers today. pic.twitter.com/imJd3tAmdS— Billy Hartford (@BudDupreeFan) March 30, 2023
Many have theories on what could be holding up this deal...
- Dupree’s health was an issue and the Steelers aren’t willing to sign him.
- Dupree is holding out for the best possible deal, even after the Steelers tried to sign him
- The owners meetings, where both Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were present, has slowed the process and it’s just a matter of time until he is signed.
Either way, it has fans wondering where in the world is Bud Dupree? Will he be the team’s third pass rusher? Will he be effective if signed? Or will the team just take a pass on Dupree since his health is a concern?
What do you think of this entire ordeal? Do you think he will be signed? If so, will he be effective and accept his role as the third pass rusher? Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the 2023 offseason.
UPDATE: Despite the report of Dupree visiting the Steelers coming out last week, it appears that visit is happening today. This per Dupree’s Instagram account: