Are These Free Agents Over or Under Valued?

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

By Jessica Costello

There are a couple of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive starters that could be preparing for and browsing other options come March. A couple of free agents that seem to be stirring up quite the speculations are outside linebacker, Bud Dupree and defensive tackle, Javon Hargrave. Their performances during the 2019 season didn’t go unnoticed, but are the big paydays they’ll be expecting, worth it?

This is where the question, are they over or undervalued, comes into play. Pro Football Focus took a look at some of the statistics to try to land the two free agents into one of those categories. PFF looked at the sack numbers from some of the top free-agent defenders and put them within one of the groupings, overvalued or undervalued. The Steelers got one in each of those categories.

According to PFF, they consider Bud Dupree to be overvalued in the free-agent market. They figure this according to his sack numbers during the season. Below is what the site concluded when looking sack numbers compared to pressure rates.

“What should concern the Steelers when looking at the potential of re-signing Dupree, along with other potential suitors, is that his pressure rate for 2019 sits at only 10.1%. That ranks 70th among edge rushers, tied with Cassius Marsh and John Simon. Dupree’s sack total with a pressure rate that low and a four-year track record of subpar production as a pass-rusher should bring reason for pause for NFL teams this offseason.”

On the other hand, PFF had different opinions on Hargrave. They concluded that he was completely undervalued in the free-agent market, saying whoever ends up with him could end up with a “breakout player.”

“Hargrave’s pressure rate of 14.2% this season fell behind only Aaron Donald and Chris Jones at the interior defender position. The Steelers are stacked at interior defender with Cameron Heyward, Tuitt, Hargrave, and Tyson Alualu, who had a career-high PFF overall grade of 80.1 in 2019. It remains to be seen if they’ll prioritize bringing back Hargrave because of that, but whoever ends up with him will have a prime candidate for a breakout player.”

You can probably put arguments up for both of these decisions but they seem pretty spot on. Think about it, Dupree had nothing short of an impressive season, but when he was ‘off’ he was off. The team wouldn’t see anything out of him if he was having an ‘off’ game. If he didn’t sack anyone, there wasn’t much in terms of pressure.

Hargrave’s performance improved this season in regards to strength and conditioning, two things that helped his overall game. His presence was apparent against inferior offensive lineman this season.

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Do you think Pittsburgh will see Dupree and/or Hargrave return for the 2020 season? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!


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