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Bud Dupree signs with Atlanta Falcons, contract reflects poorly on Jon Robinson

The Tennessee Titans are closing the chapter on another Jon Robinson mistake

NFL: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are signing former Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Bud Dupree to a one-year contract worth “up to” $5 million, according to a report from Zach Klein. New Titans general manager Ran Carthon released Dupree earlier this offseason in a cap-clearing move that created $9.3 million in cap space. Dupree’s contract in Atlanta reflects poorly on ex-Titans general manager Jon Robinson.

The language is crucial. Dupree’s one-year prove-it deal is worth “up to” $5 million. That insinuates Dupree’s contract is worth less than $5 million, but contains statistical-related bonuses that could up the ante to $5 million. It’s significantly less than the sizable five-year, $82.5 million contract Robinson signed Dupree to ahead of the 2021 campaign.

A slew of injuries limited Dupree’s availability and upside in Tennessee. Robinson made the ill-advised decision to sign Dupree despite him tearing his ACL towards the conclusion of the 2020 season. Dupree’s 2021 campaign was derailed by the leftover effects, limiting him to 11 in-and-out-of-the-lineup appearances and a career-low 3.0 sacks. Dupree’s second season in Tennessee welcomed more of the same with a hip injury limiting Dupree to an identical 11 appearances and 4.0 sacks.

Dupree never played with Arthur Smith in Tennessee, but Smith continues to show an affinity for acquiring ex Titans (the Falcons also acquired Jonnu Smith earlier this summer). Dupree actually has an opportunity to secure significant playing time on Atlanta’s defensive line as of now. Last year’s Falcons recorded a 31st-ranked 21.0 sacks and currently lack proven EDGE talent outside of Dupree.

Dupree was one of the costly mistakes that cost Robinson his job. The A.J. Brown debacle undeniably topped that list, but additional errors like Dupree, Vic Beasley, Isaiah Wilson, Caleb Farley and Julio Jones also contributed. Dupree’s new contract in Atlanta is yet another example of the dealings that doomed the back-end of Robinson’s disappointing tenure in Tennessee.