There are going to be quite a few free agents from NFL teams coming onto the market in the offseason. The majority of the talk has been towards some of the Steeler's key playmakers like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alejandro Villanueva, Mike Hilton, and Bud Dupree. CBS has ranked Bud Dupree as the 23rd best free agent heading onto the market and Spotrac feels Dupree is going to get paid big time in the offseason ($18.2 million annually).
The Steelers may have been in constant communication with Dupree, but the plan is to let him test free agency and still remain in contact with him. Recently Sam Monson wrote an article on ESPN called Most overrated, underrated 2021 NFL free agents at every position. Monson says Bud Dupree is overrated.
Monson on Bud Dupree: "The problem is that he has played an environment that gives him a lot of layups in terms of pass-rushing. Last season, 60.5% of Dupree's total pressures were either unblocked, cleanup, or pursuit plays, which are more circumstantial than they are evidence of plus play. By contrast, only 26% of T.J. Watt's pressures fell into those categories."
He feels Dupree is a classic buyer-beware candidate at the edge position. He is a gifted player who makes many splash plays, but he has 22 sacks in 27 games. Monson also says "Dupree can take advantage of a beneficial situation as a complementary pass-rushes, but there isn't much evidence that he can manufacture his own elite-level production."
Many teams will overpay for Dupree's services, but I think they understand he has some tread on his tires. Dupree's 2020 season could hurt his value going forward because he is coming off of an ACL tear and I believe the Steelers are hoping he doesn't get what he thinks his value will be on the open market. The Colts, Falcons, Titans, Chargers, and even the dreadful Browns could be in play for Dupree.