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Could Steelers Sign Bud Dupree to 1-Year Contract after ACL Injury?

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With most of the conversation focusing on players like Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.J. Watt, there’s another key Steelers player with his future very much in doubt.

That player is Bud Dupree, who is a free agent and in search of a new NFL contract. While fans always knew it was possible 2020 was Dupree’s last in Pittsburgh, one of the most tenured NFL reporters thinks there’s actually hope the 27-year-old linebacker could be back as a key contributor to the Steelers defense. During an appearance on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan, longtime NFL reporter John Clayton said he feels Dupree’s ACL injury may reduce his value on the open market and lead Dupree signing a 1-year deal worth about $6 million.

A $6 million 1-year contract would be team-friendly as the Steelers look to work around salary cap concerns, but significantly less than the type of deal a player of Dupree’s caliber would normally command. Spotract.com has estimated Dupree’s market value to be around $18 million per year on a four-year contract.

Of course, that may sound like good news for Steelers fans. Dupree was playing at a very high level prior to his season-ending injury. But the possibility of signing for just one year, instead of a big long term contract, doesn’t seem to be something Dupree himself is too excited about.

Dupree joined NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Wednesday, and shared encouraging news regarding his rehab from the torn ACL that ended his 2020 season.

“I’m feeling great right now,” Dupree said. “I’m ahead of schedule in rehab. It’s a great thing as always, it’s a blessing.”

What the market will actually be for Dupree’s services certainly depends on if other franchises feel he can get back to form and be fully recovered for next season.

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NFL Insider John Clayton: Steelers Out of Running for J.J. Watt

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One of the league’s most prominent insiders believes the Steelers are out of the running for free agent defensive end J.J. Watt.

Joining The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday, NFL insider John Clayton said Watt will not be joining his brothers T.J. and Derek in Pittsburgh.

Clayton sees the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills as the favorites to land Watt’s services.

For a potential dark horse, Clayton says the Las Vegas Raiders as an outside-the-box candidate to sign the veteran pass rusher.

Watt leaves Houston as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, named First-Team All-Pro on five occasions and earned three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.

A future Hall of Famer, Watt is the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101), tackles-for-loss (172) and forced fumbles (25).

Watt recorded 52 total tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown in 2020.

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NFL Hosting Women’s Careers in Football Forum

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The NFL is hosting its fifth annual Women’s Careers in Football Forum from Feb. 24-25, the league announced in a press release Tuesday.

The event will be held virtually and “connect 40 women, 75% of whom are women of color, with leaders in professional football to help those women network and build relationships in the areas of coaching, scouting and football operations.”

Those participating in the event will join panel discussions, breakout sessions and have networking opportunities with industry leaders, such as head coaches and team executives. All portions of the event are aimed at building connections that will result in hirings and subsequent representation.

Since its inception in 2017, the two-day event has assisted in developing “a more diverse talent pipeline by connecting high-potential women to career opportunities in football.” According to the league, 118 opportunities for women in football have been created as a result.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and wife Jane Skinner Goodell will speak, as well as NFL Chief Football Administrative Officer Dawn Aponte. In addition, three owners, seven head coaches and six general managers will also join the conversation.

Sarah Thomas made history earlier this month becoming the first woman to officiate a Super Bowl. The champion Tamp Bay Buccaneers also had a record number of women on their coaching staff this past season.

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Report: 2021 NFL Salary Cap Expected at $182-183 Million

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The 2021 NFL salary cap is expected to be around $182 or $183 million, according to a report by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

That is just slightly above the bare-minimum figure of $180 million agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA last week, and aligns with Steelers Now sources that predict the cap will fall between $180 and $185 million.

The Steelers are one of several teams that will be significantly over the salary cap, regardless of what figure is.


According to Pro Football Talk, those teams have been lobbying to increase the 2021 salary cap at the expense of future years to minimize the impact the pandemic has had on NFL operations.

Doing so would essentially amount to an interest-free loan given by the owners to the players, something that some owners have balked at.

That final figure could still be impacted by the league signing new television contracts for the 2022 season before the salary cap is finalized, which is expected some time in March.


The new league year starts on March 17, which is the day that all teams must be under the new salary cap.

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