Pittsburgh Steelers edge defender Bud Dupree filed a grievance this week to be classified as a defensive end — rather than as a linebacker — on his franchise tag, multiple outlets reported Friday.
The news emerged shortly after the agent for Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge defender Shaquill Barrett told media outlets his client had filed the same grievance. Dupree and Barrett both play for teams with 3-4 defenses and are listed as outside linebackers.
The linebacker tender is worth $15.8 million, while the defensive end tag is worth $17.9 million, both calculated according to top salaries at the position.
In May, the Baltimore Ravens and franchise-tagged edge defender Matthew Judon — also listed as a 3-4 outside linebacker — agreed to resolve a similar dispute by meeting in the middle, making Judon’s tender worth $16.8 million.
Dupree, 27, signed his franchise tender in April and has until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with the Steelers. Multiple reports Friday said the sides have had discussions but aren’t near an agreement.
The Steelers’ first-round pick in 2015 (22nd overall), Dupree is coming off a career-best season, posting 11.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, 68 tackles (16 for loss) and four forced fumbles, all comfortably career highs.
Through his first four seasons, Dupree had 20 sacks, 33 QB hits, 132 tackles (30 for loss) and two forced fumbles in 54 games (39 starts).