Steelers’ Bud Dupree signs franchise tag tender hours before start of 2020 NFL Draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers have locked up one of their most important defenders for at least one more season. Hours before the start of the 2020 NFL Draft, the team announced that edge rusher Bud Dupree has signed his franchise tag tender. 

The tag value for Dupree will be approximately $15.8 million, but the Steelers will also have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with Dupree. The team has previously stated its intention to keep Dupree in Pittsburgh long-term, but it’s also possible they could trade him to a team more willing to sign such a long-term deal.

Dupree has been with the Steelers for five seasons, having been selected by Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2015 draft. He played last season on his fifth-year option, and had the best season of his career. After totaling 20 sacks, 33 tackles for loss, and 30 additional quarterback hits through his first four seasons, he picked up 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 17 hits last season, per Pro Football Reference. 

“It’s opportunities and also just preparation,” Dupree said of his improved performance last season, per the Steelers’ official website. “I took my game to a different level. It’s just been different moments where we come together as a unit and make stuff happen on the field and off the field.”

Dupree’s signing solidifies the foundation of the Steelers’ defensive front, with Dupree and T.J. Watt rushing along the edge and Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and new signing Chris Wormley (replacing Javon Hargrave) crashing the pocket from the inside. 

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