Steelers pick up 5th-year option on LB Bud Dupree
The Steelers have exercised the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Bud Dupree, keeping him under contract with the team through the 2019 season.
The team had until May 3 to decide whether to pick up the extra year on Dupree's contract. Dupree will earn $9.232 million in 2019.
"We're excited about where Bud can be in these next two years," general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday. "We had no hesitation in making that move when we did it."
It took Dupree, the team's first-round pick in 2015, until 2017 to become a full-time starter in the Steelers defense. He started five games as a rookie and four in 2016 when he spent the first half of the season on the physically unable to perform list with a core muscle injury that required surgery.
Last year, Dupree started 15 games and had 40 tackles and a career-high six sacks. He has 14.5 sacks in his career.
Dupree and second-year player T.J. Watt will be the starters this year for the second consecutive season.
"We're comfortable he's going to meet the challenge," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
The fifth-year option can be rescinded, but it is guaranteed against injury. Last year, the Steelers picked up the fifth-year option on linebacker Ryan Shazier, who will miss this season with a spinal cord injury. Shazier will earn $8.7 million this year.
The last time the Steelers did not pick up a fifth-year option on a contract was 2016 with outside linebacker Jarvis Jones.