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Bud Dupree officially receives franchise tag with Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Kentucky pass-rusher Bud Dupree will officially remain a Pittsburgh Steeler for at least one more year.

This morning, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network broke the news that the Steelers had officially placed the franchise tag on Dupree, a deal that will keep him in Pittsburgh for one more year while they negotiate a long-term contract agreement.

Not long after, the Steelers officially announced the news.

Back in March, Jenna Laine of ESPN was the first to announce that the Steelers were expected to franchise tag the former Wildcat and veteran pass-rusher this offseason.

And today, that officially came to fruition.

In February, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters that no matter what happens this offseason regarding the specifics of Dupree’s contract status, the franchise is planning on the former Wildcat sticking around in Pittsburgh for the remainder of his career.

“I say this in all seriousness: everything changes as we go through this, free agency, the draft,” Colbert said. “One thing that won’t change is our desire to have him finish his career as a Pittsburgh Steelers.”

“We haven’t had extensive meetings in terms of defining that,” Tomlin said at the time. “But make no mistake, Bud Dupree is a priority for us.”

Steelers owner Art Rooney II added that the team would “do [their] best” to keep him around long-term.

“We’d like to have Bud back, no question about it,” Rooney said. “We will do our best to make it happen.”

With this one-year deal, the former Wildcat is expected to make over $16 million as a Steeler this season, with a lucrative long-term contract also possible as both sides continue to negotiate this season.

This past year, Dupree recorded his first double-digit sack season, finishing with a career high 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbled to go with 68 combined tackles, 49 solo, 17 quarterback hits, and three pass deflections.

The Steelers selected Dupree with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft after a dominant four-year career in Lexington. As a senior at Kentucky, the former Wildcat managed 74 total tackles, 12.5 tackles-for-loss, and eight sacks in 12 starts.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR