4 Tennessee Titans set to be grossly overpaid in 2023
By Lee Vowell
Titans linebacker Bud Dupree
Like almost everyone on this list, Tennessee could create a lot of salary cap space if they released Dupree. His cap hit is $20,200,000 (8th-most in the league in 2023) but his dead cap is only $10,850,000, Dupree needs a system that fits him to be really productive instead of he can fit any system. With the Steelers, he was able to be used in a blitz-heavy scheme and was able to be free to get quarterback pressures.
What Dupree seems incapable of is creating pressure without the help of others. Between 2019 and 2020, Dupree had 19.5 combined sacks with the Steelers and 32 quarterback hits. He also had 24 tackles for loss. But in his two years with Tennessee, Dupree has a combined 7 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, and 8 tackles for loss. Those numbers aren’t worthy of being paid like a top-10 edge rusher which is how Dupree is paid.
I’m sure that when Tennessee signed Dupree as a free agent in 2021 the hope was that he would energize a Titans pass rush that had been lagging. Dupree was part of a rotation in Pittsburgh and giving him more reps should equate to more production and help create a monster Tennessee defense. It hasn’t worked.
Tennessee was stout against the run this season but what hurt them was they were poor against the pass. Part of this was the secondary’s fault. Another part of that is the lack of a real pass rush. Tennessee was 18th in pressure percentage this season. A big part of that was Dupree not doing his job very well and there is no reason to think he will be any more productive in future seasons.