Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree has signed his franchise tenure, assuring his return to the team for the 2020 season.
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Dupree back in March, offering him a one-year, $15.828 million contract for the 2020 season that is fully guaranteed.
Dupree had the option to sign the tag, negotiate a long-term extension with the Steelers, or sit out the 2020 season, as former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell did in 2018.
Dupree had his best season in 2019, recording 11.5 sacks to come in second on the Steelers. He also had 16 tackles for loss to lead the club and 68 tackles overall. Additionally, Dupree had 17 quarterback hits, three passes defended and two fumble recoveries.
With Dupree back in the fold, the Steelers will now return 10 out of 11 starters from their No. 5 overall and scoring defense of a year ago, with just nose tackle Javon Hargrave moving on.
The one-year contract is the second that Dupree has signed with the Steelers, following his rookie contract after being the No. 22 overall pick out of Kentucky in 2015.
Dupree played the 2019 season under his fifth-year rookie option, which was worth $9.232 million, meaning he has earned a $6.596 million raise for the 2020 season. His cap hit will be the second-highest on the team, following only quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.