The Titans are at a disadvantage in the NFL Draft. Their pick belongs to the Steelers, who chose to pass on the opportunity to select a quarterback. The Titans now have an advantage during the draft, but the question remains—will the pick turn into a player that can help the team? Only time will tell.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans reportedly agreed to a new four-year $82.5 million contract for star running back Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers gave up a fourth-round pick in order to retain the 26-year-old back, who rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games last season.

The Tennessee Titans have just been dealt a serious blow to their chances of winning the 2018 NFL Draft Lottery after the Pittsburgh Steelers decided not to hold the team’s pick. The move is the result of a bizarre situation involving the NFL’s Supplemental Draft, which will now take place in 2018 ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Adam Schefter. The Supplemental Draft is a draft held among teams who did not make the draft, to give teams an opportunity to pick up talented players who presumably wouldn’t be around in the regular draft. The draft is held once every two years and, according to reports, it is not uncommon for teams to use the pick on guys like this .

NFL teams must balance the risk and reward when evaluating free agents, whether they are their own or from another club. How much will it cost to sign the player? What are the potential drawbacks? What is the player’s maximum potential output? When it came to free-agent pass rusher Bud Dupree in 2021, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans both asked and answered these questions.

The Steelers concluded that keeping the player in black and gold was not worth a five-year, $82.5 million commitment. The Titans felt bringing the former Kentucky Wildcat to Nashville was worth that much.

There’s still plenty of time for Dupree to show the Titans wrong, but early results suggest the Steelers made the wiser choice.

Bud Dupree became into one of Pittsburgh’s best pass rushers. 

Bud Dupree of the Pittsburgh Steelers encourages the crowd against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Bud Dupree of the Pittsburgh Steelers encourages the crowd against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bud Dupree | Steven Ryan/Getty Images/Bud Dupree

The Steelers selected Dupree with the 22nd overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. Before joining the NFL, the Georgia native put up impressive statistics at Kentucky. Dupree has 247 tackles, 25.5 sacks, and five forced fumbles in four years at Lexington.

In 2015, Dupree was drafted into a Steel Curtain D, behind veteran Arthur Moats and facing Pittsburgh great James Harrison. During his first season, he had a strong showing, with 4.0 sacks and 26 tackles. For the last five games of the season, he even replaced Moats as the starter.   

According to Draft Sharks, the 6-foot-4 edge rusher became the starter in 2017, but a training camp groin injury that necessitated surgery held him out of the first nine games. He missed one game due to a shoulder injury in the next two seasons, but otherwise played frequently. Each year, he started 15 games and had 6.0 and 5.5 sacks.

The fourth season of Dupree’s career, 2019, was his breakthrough year. He had career highs in tackles (68) and sacks (9) throughout his career (11.5). Until Dupree tore his ACL, the 2020 season looked quite similar (8.0 sacks after 11 games).

After being franchised by the Steelers, the pass-rushing linebacker signed a one-year contract in 2020 and became an unrestricted free agent in 2021. The Titans stepped in with a five-year, $82.5 million deal that included a $35 million guarantee.

Dupree was put on the PUP list by the Tennessee Titans to begin training camp in 2021.

On December 2, Dupree hurt his knee in a game against the Baltimore Ravens. He is still not ready to play after over eight months.

According to NFL.com, the Tennessee Titans stated before training camp that Dupree would start the preseason on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. A player on the PUP list is allowed to attend meetings, work out, and rehab injuries, but they are not allowed to practice until approved by a club doctor.  

If Dupree isn’t ready to play right away, the Titans should put him on this list immediately. Because he hasn’t practiced yet, he may return at any point during the preseason. He’d have to go on injured reserve if he practices and then has to be shut down for a period of time.

The regular-season PUP list is something Titans fans should keep an eye on. If Dupree is ultimately placed on that list, he will be forced to sit out the first six games of the season.

Week 15 features a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans. 

Bud Dupree was recently replaced by experienced free agency rusher Melvin Ingram by the Steelers. According to The Tennessean, the Titans attempted to improve their defense this summer by adding Janoris Jenkins and Danico Autry in addition to Dupree. Caleb Farley, a cornerback, was also selected in the first round.

In what might be a pivotal Week 15 game, the two clubs will square off. Last season, both clubs reached the playoffs, with the Steelers going 12-4 and the Titans going 11-5. Each club returns the majority of its 2020 roster this year, and they have playoff ambitions.

The game begins at 1 p.m. EST in Pittsburgh. The game is eligible for flexible scheduling since it will take place after Week 11. This implies the NFL may elect to move it to Sunday Night Football if it is one of the top games of the week.  

In this game, Dupree might exact his vengeance, or the Pittsburgh Steelers could show they were correct about the wounded star. In Week 11, we’ll discover out.

Pro Football Reference provided all data, while spotrac provided contract numbers.

RELATED: Steelers Insider Says Ben Roethlisberger Arrived at Training Camp Looking ‘Extremely Well and Fit’

There’s a lot of money at stake in the NFL, and a whole lot of money that could be lost if the Jacksonville Jaguars pull off an upset during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.. Read more about steelers defensive line and let us know what you think.

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