The Tennessee Titans got their big-money edge rusher. They agreed to terms with former Steelers OLB Bud Dupree on a multi-year contract on Monday, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Dupree’s deal will pay him an annual average salary of $16.5 million. The length of the contract has yet to be determined.

This was a move that the Titans simply had to make.

The Titans were plagued with one of the NFL’s worst pass-rush units in 2020, and the entire defense suffered as a result.

Not only were ineffective players like Brooks Reed and Tuzar Skipper playing way too many snaps at outside linebacker, but talented players like Harold Landry and Jeffery Simmons had entirely too much pressure on their shoulders.

Landry, in particular, was on the field too much. It’s hard to blame the Titans for keeping him out there, though, as he was clearly their best pass rusher and they had no relief options for him.

With Dupree now in the fold, along with DL Denico Autry, the Titans’ other big free-agent acquisition from Monday, things will look a lot different—and better—for the 2021 Titans’ defense.

Dupree got a lot of help in Pittsburgh from star players like OLB T.J. Watt and DL Cameron Heyward, but his sack numbers are undeniable.

He broke out with 11.5 sacks in 2019. Before he tore his ACL in 2020, Dupree notched 8 sacks in just 11 games.

The Titans have not seen that level of sack production since OLB Brian Orakpo made the Pro Bowl in 2016.

A year after whiffing on two free-agent pass rushers—Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney—Titans general manager went back to the well for a more expensive option.

Dupree is uber-athletic and, by all accounts, plays with high levels of effort and intensity.

On paper, signing him is a great move that will immediately help the Titans’ defense.

Cover image: Charles LeClaire/USA Today


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