Bud Dupree: 'Bittersweet' Being in Driver's Seat of Next Contract

Bud Dupree doesn't know if his next contract will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers, or what his 2020 paycheck will be, but he's feeling blessed being in contract of his future.
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PITTSBURGH -- Bud Dupree is on what may be his final contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Working under the franchise tag, the edge rusher has a question surrounding his future and the amount of money he'll make in 2020. 

Dupree spoke to media on Monday and joked about being close to a 2-year, $200 million contract with the Steelers prior to the July 15 deadline. 

"The franchise tag is what I'm in now. It's just a part of business," Dupree said about any long-term talks between him and the team.

The edge rusher isn't too worried about his future. Whether the Steelers re-sign him or he hits the open market, he's expected to see a significant payday. 

He and his agent made a statement earlier this offseason when they filed paperwork with the NFLPA to be paid as a defensive end rather than an outside linebacker. According to Dupree, the grievance is still processing but could land him an additional $2 million in his tag. 

It could also be the difference in his next contract. Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett signed a 5-year, $125 million deal in July. Thirteen days later, Joey Bosa inked his name to a 5-year, $135 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.

"In the type of defense that we play, the type of scheme is taking over the league, I feel like d-ends and linebackers are all in the same category," Dupree said about what position he considers himself. "It's a new style that defensive ends play in the NFL. Different type of body style with the same type of position."

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Dupree will also have to worry about the salary cap change in 2021. If the NFL plays without fans, teams will lose a considerable amount of profit, and therefore contracts could see a dip in value. 

"It's a big thing to think about," Dupree said. "At the end of the day, I think everything will handle its self. Everybody's looking for the best."

The Steelers' edge rusher is in control of his future. His 11.5 sack season has him on the free agent radar, and he fully understands his next contract is in his hands. 

"It's bittersweet," Dupree said. "It's a blessing to get to this point in my career. To still be here. Working through the adversity. Just be in the position that I am today. 

"I'm in the driver's seat of my career right now. I'll go out and play the best I can play and everything will be in it's place at the end of the year. I'll be able to control my own decision. For now, I got to go out and keep working hard. Keep trying to get better and better each day." 

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.