Veteran OLB Bud Dupree signs with Los Angeles Chargers

ByKris Rhim ESPN logo
Monday, May 13, 2024

LOS ANGELES -- Free agent outside linebacker Bud Dupree signed with the Los Angeles Chargers, the team announced Saturday.

Dupree, 31, had a career renaissance last year, notching 6.5 sacks and 39 tackles with eight tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits for the Atlanta Falcons. He quickly emerged as the team's top stand-up edge rusher in Atlanta's defensive scheme, often playing on many vital snaps.

He joins an outside linebacker group that features two of the league's best in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. Mack had the best season of his career last year, finishing fourth in the NFL with a career-high 17 sacks. The Chargers also have outside linebacker Tuli Tuipulotu, who emerged as one of the team's most consistent players with Bosa sidelined for eight games last season.

Tuipulotu finished with 4.5 sacks last season, tied for seventh among rookies. The Chargers, who lack a dominant interior pass rusher, could feature Dupree and Tuipulotu in sets with three outside linebackers, where one of them line up on the interior.

Last season, that package was effective for the Chargers, including a Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans when Tuipulotu drew in two linemen to free up a sack for Bosa.

Dupree, a 2015 first-round pick, spent his first six seasons with the Steelers, and a source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Saturday night that Pittsburgh was a close consideration for the veteran. But the Chargers sold Dupree on three-rusher sets with Bosa and Mack on the field together, the source said.

Dupree broke the 10-sack barrier once -- with the Steelers in 2019 when he played every game and had a career-high 68 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits. He's played in 119 career games (99 starts) with 305 tackles, 53 sacks, and 70 tackles for loss.