This continues my series of exploring what each offseason acquisition brings to the Falcons. Calais Campbell was by far the most unexpected signing of the offseason, but the next subject of this series was a somewhat shocking addition as well.
Check out any other parts of the series if you’ve missed them!
- What does Jessie Bates bring to the Falcons?
- What does Calais Campbell bring to the Falcons?
- What does David Onyemata bring to the Falcons?
- What does Kaden Elliss bring to the Falcons?
Bud Dupree’s deal came much later in the offseason than most of the other additions but is nonetheless essential. The former 22nd overall pick logged 19.5 sacks over his final two seasons in Pittsburgh, which was parlayed into a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Titans in 2021. However, injuries marred his stint in Tennessee.
It only lasted two seasons, and he only logged seven sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 17 quarterback hits in 22 games with the Titans. He certainly wasn’t some highly sought-after free agent this offseason but should provide veteran experience for a young edge unit and assume a rotational role, which will benefit his chances of staying healthy.
So, why would he choose Atlanta over other free agent destinations, including where his career started in Pittsburgh? Dupree’s reasoning should be music to Falcons fans’ ears:
“I know what Pittsburgh is, I know they want me there, I know what I am getting myself into,” Dupree told Ramon Foster on The Ramon Foster Show, via Sports Illustrated. “This is the hardest decision I’ve had to make. I wanted to be able to just do a one-year deal, and Pittsburgh wanted two. I want to have a good year and hit the market again.”
The Georgia native is back home with a bounce back campaign in his sights to hopefully garner another long-term, lucrative free agent deal. It’s a win-win for the Falcons.
His contract is team-friendly, so it’s no skin off the team’s back if he struggles to stay healthy or produce. On the other hand, if he comes out on fire as he intends, the Falcons look like geniuses.
The deal is officially valued at $3 million with a $2.82 million cap hit. The Falcons aren’t expecting double-digit sacks from Bud Dupree; he’ll assume a rotational role with Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie, and DeAngelo Malone.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Falcons.
Photographer: Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire