Steelers Dupree Says It’s Bittersweet To Be In Final Year Of Contract

The linebacker joked about being close to a $200 million deal

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Bud Dupree admitted the terms of a deal he nearly signed with the Steelers.

“We came close to a two-year, 200 million dollar deal,” Dupree said.

“But I was like, Cam (Heyward) can get the money, that’s fine with me.”

Dupree later would laugh about the fictitious figures, but did say Monday about being a free agent at the end of the season.

“I would say it’s bittersweet,” Dupree said.  “It’s also a blessing to get at this point in my career, to still be here and work through adversity and work and just be in this position I am in today.”

“I will be in the driver’s seat of my career.  I will just go out and play the best I can play.  Everything will be in place in the end of the year and I can control my destiny.”

Dupree said he’s thought about how the coronavirus pandemic could affect the money that is available to him during free agency, but believes everything will handle itself.

After a career-high 11.5 sacks and 68 tackes, Dupree agreed to the Steelers franchise tag and will make 15.8 million as an outside linebacker, but confirms he’s still trying to get that figure to the franchise tag for a defense end, which is roughly two million dollars more.

“In the type of defense we play, the type of scheme, defensive ends and linebackers are all in the same category,” Dupree explained.  “New style that defense is being played in the NFL, different type of body style, but the same type of position.”

Dupree would say contracts are just part of the business and that he’s looking forward to being back in business with outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

“We are just trying to add on blocks to what we did last year and keep getting better and better every day,” Dupree said.  “Encouraging ourselves to just try and take the next step.”