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Bud Dupree Leaves Steelers Visit without a Contract



Steelers LB Bud Dupree

Bud Dupree came to Pittsburgh on Friday to visit his old team, the Steelers at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. But Dupree’s visit came and went without the free agent outside linebacker landing a new contract. So what gives?

Dupree certainly didn’t need to take a tour to familiarize himself with the Steelers’ facilities on the South Side. He also didn’t need to meet much of the defensive coaching staff.

Free agent visits used to be a common part of the process, with teams wining and dining players in an attempt to get them to commit to signing a contract. But we now live in a digital age, and for the most part, visits like Dupree’s are superfluous, especially when it comes to a player potentially returning to the place he played his first six seasons.

The Steelers could certainly have given Dupree all the necessary information about how much playing time would be available to him alongside Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt in the Pittsburgh defense and what they’d be willing to pay for his services remotely.

RELATED: Alex Highsmith: Bud Dupree Would Give Steelers ‘Three-Headed Monster’ at OLB

Of course, that doesn’t mean a visit is completely meaningless. The reason Dupree is available at all is the fact that he hasn’t been healthy in recent years. After an ACL injury cut short his final season in Pittsburgh in 2020, Dupree suffered knee and abdominal strains in 2021 that caused him to played in just 11 games. He against missed six games in 2022 with a hip strain.

So the primary purpose of the visit from the Steelers prospective could have been to ascertain exactly how healthy the 30-year-old Dupree is after three straight injury-plagued seasons.

The fact that he left Friday without a contract at hand likely means that either the Steelers weren’t happy with what they found out, or results of those investigations meant that the sides couldn’t come together on a deal that made sense.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, either. The Steelers do have a need for a third outside linebacker, but depth is not a concern so pressing that they will certainly rush out to sign someone else if they can’t agree on a deal with Dupree.

Much like when Larry Ogunjobi had his contract voided with the Chicago Bears last spring only to sign with the Steelers later, a lot can change between March and the start of the season. 

The Steelers clearly have some level of interested, and as long as Dupree hasn’t signed elsewhere, there’s still a chance he could return to Pittsburgh.

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