The 2015 first-round pick knows he has a contract with the Steelers for this season. His future with the Steelers after that is in question, but Dupree said on Sunday that he doesnt mind the uncertainty.
“Id rather just be like this right now,” Dupree said. “Im going to go out, do my thing, help the team and not be selfish even though its a contract year. I have to make sure Im doing things that are beneficial to the unit as a whole and keep playing to the best of my ability.”
The Steelers picked up Duprees fifth-year option, guaranteeing a $9.2 million salary this season. But he only has 20 sacks in 54 games through four seasons after he was drafted to rush the passer.
Dupree, who had 5½ sacks last season, said that he “loves the organization” and he can see himself in Pittsburgh beyond the 2019 season, but hes not focused on a long-term deal at this point.
“I dont even ask my agent because I just want to go out and play to the best of my ability and have my best year yet,” Dupree said. “Im going to do my best for them and whatever happens, happens.”
Dupree isnt strictly a pass rusher with the Steelers, as he is also asked to drop into coverage. He said thats not lost on defensive coordinator Keith Butler and coach Mike Tomlin, particularly in a contract year when sacks and production can help him earn a large contract.
“Everyone understands whats at stake for me on a personal level,” Dupree said.
Dupree has also paid attention to the free-agent contracts signed this past offseason by edge rushers, including former Kentucky teammate ZaDarius Smith, who received a four-year, $66 million deal with Green Bay in March.
“Its fun,” Dupree said. “That just puts more fire up under you to go out and have a great year. Guys are having their best years in their contract year. Confidence is key with yourself and within your team.”
Dupree entered his fifth training camp with the Steelers confident and a lean 260 pounds. Hes also healthy, too. Dupree suffered a torn pectoral muscle at Denver in November, but still finished the regular season, playing in the final five games, and registering one sack, as the StRead More – Source