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Former Steelers OLB Bud Dupree Would Welcome Reunion



Pittsburgh Steelers OLB Bud Dupree
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree in a game against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 1, 2019. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree is a free agent, and he said he would welcome a return to Pittsburgh, if the opportunity arose.

Dupree, 31, played the 2023 season with the Atlanta Falcons on a one-year, $2.97 million contract. Dupree started 16 games for the Falcons, recording 6.5 sacks to tie for the team lead. He also racked up 39 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, eight quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and three passes defended.

The Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Dupree spent two seasons in Tennessee before joining the Falcons. Now a free agent for a third time, Dupree is still seeking a home a week into the contact period.

“If the opportunity came up, definitely!” Dupree said when asked if he’d be willing to return to Pittsburgh by Ron Lippock of Steelers Takeaways. “It’s a great organization and [Mike] Tomlin – he is who he is. The standard is the standard – for sure I’d go back!”

A Macon, Georgia native, Dupree attended the University of Kentucky, but has called Atlanta home for some time. He was happy to return there to play with the Falcons, and is now unsure where his football journey will take him as he heads into the twilight of his career.

“Yeah, the first time around, being a highly-touted free agent was very fun,” Dupree said. “But then I had that injury spell and there’s less interest. Still though it was good to come home and see there was interest. You put in the hard work and you’re not overlooked, so it’s always a blessing to see and get that interest.”

The Steelers will be in the market for one more edge rusher this offseason. Obviously, T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith will be starting, and 2023 fourth-round pick Nick Herbig played well as a reserve. The team’s third outside linebacker from last season, veteran Markus Golden, is also a free agent.

The Steelers brought Dupree in for a free agent visit last offseason, before he signed in Atlanta, and he could be on their radar again this time around.