Ian Rapoport reports that Steelers LB Bud Dupree has filed a grievance with the league in hopes that he’ll be paid as a defensive end rather than a linebacker due to his franchise tag. The situation is similar to that of Buccaneers LB Shaq Barrett.
The difference between the defensive end and outside linebacker tags is roughly $2 million.
Rapoport adds that while there is still some time to work something out, the two sides are not close on a deal.
Pittsburgh has until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Dupree or he’ll play out the 2020 season before potentially becoming an unrestricted free agent again in 2021.
Dupree, 27, is a former first-round pick out of Kentucky by the Steelers in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was in the final year of a four-year, $9.22 million rookie contract when the Steelers picked up his fifth-year option that paid him $9,232,000 for the 2019 season.
Dupree was in line to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his NFL career before signing his franchise tag tender.
In 2019, Dupree appeared in all 16 games for the Steelers and recorded 68 tackles, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two recoveries and three passes defended.