Bud Dupree thought he would be devalued going into Free Agency after his ACL tear in 2020
Bud Dupree was having himself a great 2020 season until he went down with an ACL tear. He was on his way to having his second double-digit sack season on a contract year with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is no doubt TJ Watt and Bud Dupree were the best edge-rushing duo in the NFL last season. So when Dupree went down so did a big portion of the Steelers defense.
The problem Dupree had the most going into the offseason during his rehabilitation was whether he would be devalued in free agency or not. That ran through his mind quite a few times during his process. Although he had his doubts Dupree also felt he was one of the top edge rushing free agents going into the 2021 offseason. That is when he made the decision to test free agency and it paid off in a big way.
Bud Dupree on free agency: "Man, this process has been humbling," Dupree said. "The first two days tore me down because I tore my ACL on a contract year while on the franchise tag. I wondered if I would be devalued and if people would forget about me. Guys like Shaquil Barrett were making plays in the playoffs. I felt like I was a top edge rusher in free agency and then seeing guys getting a chance to play more games, I was mad."
After Bud Dupree went down with an injury Ramon Foster began recruiting him to the Titans. He didn't want to pay attention to Ramon Foster at first because he wanted to be respectful to the Steelers organization. As time went on he started to like the idea of going to the Titans. Dupree even DM'd Ramon Foster and asked how it was in Tennessee.
Bud Dupree on Ramon Foster: "During the season you were doing it but I didn't want to pay attention to it because I didn't want to be disrespectful to the Steelers," Dupree answered. "Soon as I figured out what was about to happen, I started liking it on Twitter. So KSR (Kentucky Sports Radio) pitched it too and commented on something Ramon said. I liked that comment to let people know I just want to play the game. I have no problem being in Tennessee. Then I guess it just came into existence."