The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Bud Dupree according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. This move had been expected but the Steelers aren’t set up well with the salary cap, which makes a move like this difficult to negotiate. Dupree’s tag will cost an estimated $15.8 million.
Dupree had his best season as a pro in 2019 with 11.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, 68 tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, and four forced fumbles, all setting career highs. The Steelers had one of the top defenses in the league last season, which almost got them into the playoffs despite having a way below average offense without Ben Roethlisberger. They’ll want to keep the core intact if at all possible,
Dupree could claim himself as a defensive lineman to push for a higher franchise tag, but that is unlikely. The hope for the Steelers is that they can make a long-term deal with him before July 15th, which would be when his franchise tag salary locks in.