The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to have an interesting 2021 offseason come March 17th. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alejandro Villanueva, Bud Dupree, and others are expected to hit free agency. The Steelers are strapped with cap space but are making some moves to be somewhat active during free agency.
Bob Labriola recently answered some questions in regards to free agency. One of the questions was if he thinks the 2020 Steelers Defense will remain intact? His answer was, "The Steelers aren't going to be able to keep their 2020 defense intact because there is no realistic scenario in which they're going to keep Bud Dupree, who will become a free agent on March 17th."
The Steelers will not be able to franchise tag Bud Dupree again because they do not have enough cap space. Dupree is expected to get PAID big time in the offseason. Even after suffering an ACL tear during the 2020 season. Teams like the Lions, Colts, and others should be big suitors for Bud Dupree's services.
The only option the Steelers can retain Bud Dupree would be under a friendly contract in 2021 and then further extending him down the road. Dupree would want a long-term guarantee especially after coming off of an ACL injury. So why not look for the biggest contract he could get and take it? I am leaning toward the Steelers allowing Bud Dupree to walk in free agency and hope he doesn't get what he thinks he is worth. I think he will get a big contract in the offseason. So Alex Highsmith will be the next man up unless the Steelers decide to draft early at the edge position.