Steelers Reportedly Interested in Bringing Back OLB Bud Dupree
The Pittsburgh Steelers will have a new-look linebacking corps when they hit the field in the upcoming go-round, and it’s possible possible that the team is interested in bringing back a familiar face in former first-round pick Bud Dupree.
Dupree was officially cut loose by the Tennessee Titans on Thursday, the same team that he left Pittsburgh for on a five-year deal back in 2021. He only made it through two seasons on that pact and had just seven sacks in that same span. The Steelers are interested in bringing Dupree back, according to a report by Josina Anderson of CBS Sports.
His release was part of a veteran purging from the Titans that included offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, wideout Robert Woods, and linebacker Zach Cunningham. Dupree was due the second-highest base salary on Tennessee’s roster at $17 million.
Health will be a big factor if Bud Dupree is to return to the Steel City. He dealt with a hip injury early on in Nashville after suffering an ACL tear in his last season with Pittsburgh. The hip issue continued into 2022 when he played in 11 games and also hurt his pectoral muscle.
In December, Dupree reasoned that the injury bug resulted from the knee injury’s effects.
“Just coming back from the ACL injury, that puts stress on your body,” he said. “Lots of compensation going on within that time and you develop habits that you normally don’t do. That’s what brought up my recent injuries that I’ve been having.”
The Steelers have already gone into the free agent pool to get inside linebackers Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts. Shortly after signing the latter, they released Myles Jack, the team’s leader in total tackles (104) last season.
Alex Highsmith, who for all intents and purposes replaced Dupree when he went down with the knee injury, has already spoken this off-season about how he would welcome a potential reunion with his former teammate.
“If it were to happen, that would definitely be a three-headed monster, for sure,” Highsmith said on the House of Yinzer Podcast. “When he was here, my locker was actually right next to his, so that was pretty cool. Him and T.J., both of them were just very helpful in bringing me up my rookie year and just helping me to get better.”
Of course, Dupree’s market will determine whether or not that happens. One thing is for sure — his price tag won’t be nearly as high as it was the first time he was looking for a new home.