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3 free agents to target after missing on JJ Watt

3 free agents to target after missing on JJ Watt
Steelers free agency, Mike Tomlin

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Steelers missed on J.J. Watt but still need to add a pass-rusher. Here are three free agents Pittsburgh can sign to fill that void. 

Pittsburgh’s alarming lack of cap space always made the idea of landing J.J. Watt a far-fetched notion. That doesn’t change the reality for Mike Tomlin that he still needs to add another edge-rusher this offseason.

Bud Dupree’s free agency complicates matters for Pittsburgh. In a perfect world, they’d re-sign him to a team-friendly deal and move on to other pressing roster issues. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Dupree is in the mood to offer a hometown discount.

It’s always possible the Steelers will look to the draft to fill the need. That certainly represents a more cost-effective option than spending sizeable money in free agency.

Expecting a rookie to contribute immediately is a big risk though. That’s why Steelers fans should keep a close eye on the following three free agents in the coming weeks.

3. Bud Dupree

Dupree staying in Pittsburgh is unlikely, but not impossible. The fact he’s coming off an ACL tear might force him to accept a one-year deal to re-establish his value. Sticking with the Steelers might be the prudent play if he wants to put up big numbers in 2021.

The 28-year-old outside linebacker doesn’t do much to help his team’s run defense, but he’s an above-average pass rusher who creates sacks when given sufficient opportunities. That makes him a great scheme fit in Pittsburgh. Don’t rule out the possibility that cooler heads might prevail here if Dupree’s market fails to materialize early in free agency. Coming back to Pittsburgh on a one-year deal could end up being the player’s best option.

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