Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree has filed a grievance through the NFLPA over his positional designation with regards to his franchise tender with the team, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
#Steelers pass-rusher Bud Dupree has filed a grievance with hopes that he’ll be paid as a defensive end rather than a LB, I’m told. Similar to Shaq Barrett. While there is still some time to work something out, the sides are not close on a deal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 10, 2020
The Steelers list Dupree as an outside linebacker in their base 3-4 alignment, but when the Steelers play their 4-2 Nickel defense, which was their most-used alignment in 2019, Dupree lines up as a defensive end.
The difference could be a significant one.
Franchise tags are paid based on the average of the top five salaries of players at the same position. The linebacker franchise tag is expected to be valued at $15.8 million, while the same tag for a defensive end would cost the Steelers $17.8 million, so Dupree’s grievance is over $2 million. Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge rusher Shaq Barrett has filed a similar motion.
Dupree has already signed his franchise tender, so he is committed to playing for the team in 2020 no matter his salary.
Dupree and the Steelers can also continue to negotiate a long-term contract extension through July 15, when Dupree will be locked into his one-year franchise contract, at whichever value prevails.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has repeatedly said that he wants Dupree to finish his career in Pittsburgh, but Rapoport said the sides are “far apart” on an extension with five days until the deadline.