The Atlanta Falcons have made a significant addition to their defense by signing veteran edge rusher Bud Dupree to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million. The move comes as general manager Terry Fontenot continues to invest in rebuilding the Falcons’ defense, which has struggled in recent years.
Dupree, 30, was drafted 22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015 NFL Draft out of the University of Kentucky. During his six years with the Steelers, he notched 39.5 sacks, with 19.5 of those coming in his final two seasons in Pittsburgh. Dupree then spent two seasons with the Tennessee Titans, where he recorded seven sacks in 22 games.
However, Dupree’s time in Tennessee did not go as planned. After signing a five-year, $82 million deal in 2021, he was plagued by injuries, which limited his playing time and effectiveness. The Titans released him in March, shortly after his 30th birthday, and he waited a month before signing with the Falcons.
In Atlanta, Dupree will join a pass rush rotation that includes young talents Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, as well as veteran Calais Campbell. The Falcons’ defense has been in dire need of improvement; they ranked last in the league in sacks in 2021 and second to last in 2022.
This signing is part of a broader defensive overhaul by the Falcons, who have also recently brought in veterans David Onyemata, Jessie Bates, and Jeff Okudah. Although Dupree’s recent injury history raises concerns about his ability to stay healthy, if he can contribute effectively to the team, the $5 million investment will be well worth it.
In addition to Dupree’s signing, the Falcons have made several other roster moves. They released outside linebacker Quinton Bell, defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe, and safety Jovante Moffatt. The team may also consider adding another edge rusher with the No. 8 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Bud Dupree’s return to his home state of Georgia could provide a fresh start for the talented edge rusher. Atlanta fans will be hoping that he can rediscover the form that made him such a force in Pittsburgh and help the Falcons climb the ranks defensively.