Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree officially becomes a free agent next week.
More than likely the Steelers won’t be able to afford him, with Spotrac projecting a four-year deal work $72.8 million and $18.2 million annually.
But according to Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo, his loss won’t hurt the Steelers defense and it might actually be better.
Palazzolo says Alex Highsmith could possible fill in for Dupree and maybe even do a better job.
“I do think Highsmith could get you’re in the ball park if not better than what Bud has shown,” said Palazzolo. “Maybe in 2021. I think Bud’s had one good year out of five so can Highsmith do that? Absolutely.”
Palazzolo says their statistics show that Dupree has only had one year where he “graded well” and that was in 2019 and for the Steelers to even attempt to pay him the money he is currently valued at would be a big mistake.
“He’s getting hyped up in free agency because of Pittsburgh and T.J. Watt,” said Palazzolo. “We don’t hate anybody we’re just trying to give proper analysis and from a team standpoint, I wouldn’t be the one to pay him the money.”
Palazzolo adds if Highsmith works with someone the Steelers bring in, say Tyus Bowser, they could possibly make up for Dupree's sack total.