It might be wishful thinking, but Cam Heyward wants Bud Dupree to stay in Pittsburgh.
It seems likely that the Steelers pass rush will be taking a hit this offseason. Dupree, who was well on his way to a Pro Bowl season with eight sacks in just 11 games before a season-ending ACL injury forced him out of action, perhaps pushed him out of a Steelers uniform altogether.
Despite said injury, Dupree is set to earn big money on a lite pass-rusher market. Dupree has experience in a 3-4 scheme, but can switch over to a 4-3 as a hybrid DE should he put on a little more weight. The Kentucky product has speed and tenacity on his side, and should he stay healthy could be one of the better pickups of the offseason.
On his birthday nonetheless, Steelers teammate Heyward made perhaps one final pitch for Dupree to stay in Pittsburgh.
Heyward wasn’t so subtle about his intentions for the Steelers offseason
The Steelers cap situation is fluid, as it all depends on the decision of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben has stated his desire to return to the black and gold next season, but the Rooney family matched that enthusiasm with tempered expectations, making it very clear that Roethlisberger will have to rework his contract for that to happen.
Roethlisberger is ready and willing to take a discount, but the question remains how much wiggle room it’ll give the Steelers to operate under the cap. Pittsburgh has already put out feelers on recently-released defensive end J.J. Watt, and adding him to the mix would all but signal an official goodbye to Dupree.
The edge rushing tandem of Watt and Dupree was electric at times last season. Add in Devin Bush before he also succumbed to injury, and the Steelers had arguably the best defense in the NFL.
Recreating that product is awfully attractive to an interior lineman like Heyward.