Dupree was informed of the team's plans Monday morning. The option is guaranteed for injury, but the team can rescind it based on skill.
Dupree, 25, has 14.5 sacks in three seasons but has battled various injuries throughout his first three seasons, including nine missed games in 2016 with a sports hernia and a nagging shoulder issue throughout 2017.
The option signals the Steelers see Dupree a part of their long-term plans. Past first-round picks David DeCastro and Cam Heyward got extensions the year after the team picked up their options. Linebacker Ryan Shazier, who won't play in 2018 because of a spinal injury but will be paid his $8.7 million option, would have been an extension candidate this summer if healthy.
General manager Kevin Colbert expects a breakout from Dupree.
"I think Bud is just scratching the surface on what he can be," Colbert said at last month's NFL owners meetings. "Playing another season with T.J. [Watt] and T.J. playing with Bud, I think those two will help each other grow as this thing continues to unfold."