(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo was on 93.7 The Fan yesterday and to no surprise, he didn't have many positive things to say about Bud Dupree. PFF has just never been high on Dupree.
Palazzolo doesn't think Dupree is worth $18 million per year and he doesn't expect the Steelers to miss a beat with Alex Highsmith as his replacement.
“I do think Highsmith could get you in the ballpark if not better than what Bud has shown,” Palazzolo said. “Maybe in 2021. I think Bud’s had one good year out of five so can Highsmith do that? Absolutely.”
PFF has been on record many times for saying this, but they believe a lot of Dupree's success has more to do with the elite pass rushers that the Steelers have on their defense in Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and especially T.J. Watt.
“He’s getting hyped up in free agency because of Pittsburgh and T.J. Watt,” Palazzolo said. “We don’t hate anybody we’re just trying to give proper analysis and from a team standpoint, I wouldn’t be the one to pay him the money.”
Spotrac projects a four-year deal work $72.8 million and $18.2 million annually for Dupree. That's a lot of money, but that's what the market dictates for an elite pass rusher. Dupree has compiled 19.5 sacks in his last 27 games. He would have had double-digit sacks for a second consecutive season if he didn't suffer a torn ACL in the fourth quarter against the Ravens in Week 12 last year. Dupree has also improved tremendously as a run defender in the last two seasons.
Dupree should have plenty of suitors when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 17. Teams like the Colts, Titans, Lions, Patriots and Dolphins have been linked as possible landing spots for the Kentucky product.