Since the NFL started the ‘5th year option’ on first round draft picks after their rookie contracts in 2011, the Pittsburgh Steelers have used this option every year except for one.
Think about that. Other than Jones, every first round pick since that time has received the 5th year option from the Steelers. The list includes Cameron Heyward, David DeCastro and Ryan Shazier.
The team has a decision to make on their 2015 first round draft pick Bud Dupree, and it doesn’t seem like the team is sold on him getting the $9 million dollar extension.
This per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic:
Kevin Colbert said that no decision has been made on Bud Dupree’s 5th year option. @TheAthleticPGH— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) March 25, 2018
The team doesn’t have to make a decision right away on Dupree. Rather, they can wait until the deadline of May 3rd before they make the final call, but it doesn’t mean the decision will be an easy one.
In fact, it will likely be the total opposite.
While in his career he has totaled just 90 tackles, 14.5 sacks and a forced fumble in three seasons, Dupree did hit a career high with six sacks in his first year as a full-time starter in 2017.
When preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft, Dupree was labeled as ‘raw’. He has freakish athletic ability, but had never been coached to rush the passer to effectively beat NFL caliber tackles. Some see this as a criticism of the Steelers coaching staff, mainly Joey Porter, and it is safe to assume this has been a huge part of Dupree’s lack of production, but not all blame falls on the coaching staff.
This tidbit from ProFootballTalk is worth noting:
The option is guaranteed against injury only, so the Steelers could exercise it and then rescind it if Dupree doesn’t play up to their expectations. With the draft coming before the deadline, they could also add other outside linebacker options that wind up affecting their ultimate decision.
The Steelers are up in the air regarding Dupree’s option, but what do you think? Should the team pick it up, or move on? Let us know in the comment section below!