With the NFL season in full swing, it’s now become clear why the Las Vegas Raiders were interested in adding a Pro Bowl-level pass rusher shortly before the season began. Through four games, the silver and black are 31st in the NFL with only four sacks. That’s simply not good enough for a team that’s trying to make the playoffs.
Arden Key got a lot of hype in training camp and Carl Nassib got a big contract last offseason but the two have combined for 0.5 sacks so far. It’s becoming clearer that Clelin Ferrell is more of a run stuffer than a pass rusher and Maxx Crosby has played decently with three of the teams four sacks. If the Raiders hope to beat the Kanas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, they need to create pressure without blitzing too often. It’s clear that this current group can’t do that.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report believes that a former Paul Guenther defender could be the answer:
In order to bolster the front line and finally silence the critics who still question the decision to trade [Khalil] Mack, the Raiders may need another big-time trade before the deadline. Acquiring an impact player such as Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap—who played four seasons under Guenther, two of those Pro Bowl terms—is one possibility. He’s unhappy with a reduced role and could be open to a midseason move elsewhere.
ALL the latest Las Vegas Raiders news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
What’s going on with Dunlap?
As Moton mentioned, Dunlap isn’t too stoked about his reduced role with the Bengals. He even admitted he was frustrated on social media. It seems odd that the team would reduce his role considering he’s been one of their most consistent defenders.
He hasn’t had less than 7.5 sacks on a season since 2012 and has been to the Pro Bowl twice. The Bengals aren’t a great team right now and they’re definitely in a rebuild. Considering the drama they’re having with the former second-round pick, it might be wise to try and get something for in a trade.
How Much Would Dunlap Cost?
Dunlap is under contract through 2021 so he doesn’t have a lot of leverage should he ask for a trade. That said, his value only diminishes as each year passes. At age 31, Dunlap probably only has a couple more seasons as a strong pass rusher.
It’s worth noting that Dunlap’s two best seasons in the NFL came while he was playing under current Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. He would be a quick fix for Las Vegas’ problems and could start immediately due to his familiarity with the system.
Now, it’s hard to gauge how much he’d be worth in a trade. Considering his age, it’s highly unlikely the Raiders would be willing to give up any draft pick within the first two rounds. Perhaps a third or fourth-round pick could do it but the Bengals are notorious for being stiff negotiators.