The Seattle Seahawks and general manager John Schneider worked hard this offseason to add depth on the edge to rush opposing quarterbacks. However, one star pass rusher won’t be returning for the 2022 season after signing a new deal with a Super Bowl contender.
With training camps around the league kicking off, NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport reported that former Seahawks pass rusher Carlos Dunlap is signing a contract to join the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s a one-year, $8 million deal for Dunlap, who will be looking to have a big impact on his new team’s defense in 2022.
Dunlap is 33 years old and nearing the end of his NFL career. That being said, the veteran pass rusher showed he still had plenty left in the tank during his time with the Seahawks, and although there was hope he would return to Seattle, he’ll be trying to prove himself to Chiefs fans instead in 2022.
Revisiting Carlos Dunlap’s Impressive Career
Entering his 13th NFL season, Dunlap is looking to break 100 career sacks before he hangs up his cleats. That would be quite an accomplishment for the veteran pass rusher, but expectations have always been high for the 33-year-old.
Coming out of Fort Dorchester High School in South Carolina back in 2007, Dunlap was a 5-star recruit and the top-ranked player in the state. He drew interest from top-tier programs including Clemson, Auburn, and South Carolina, but ultimately decided to play for the Florida Gators.
Dunlap ended up leaving college early to pursue an NFL career, but was still a first-team All-SEC selection and BCS National Champion in 2009, his final season with the Gators. Despite the accolades for a top-tier SEC program, Dunlap wasn’t selected until the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
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The Gators pass rusher turned out to be a steal right away for the Bengals, picking up 9.5 sacks in his rookie season. In his 11 seasons in Cincinnati, Dunlap had 82.5 sacks with 20 forced fumbles while also earning back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in 2015 and 2016.
The Bengals traded Dunlap to the Seahawks halfway through the 2020 season, and despite his brief stint in Seattle, he still had a strong impact on the defense. He played in 25 games for the Seahawks, picking up 13.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, and nine pass deflections.
Dunlap hasn’t fallen off yet despite his age, and the Chiefs will be hoping that the 33-year-old can continue to produce at a high level for them this season.
Who Will Rush the Passer For Seattle in 2022?
Losing Dunlap hurts, but fortunately for the Seahawks, they have a ton of established players and new faces who will help rush the passer this season.
Darrell Taylor is hoping to take a big step forward this season, and has been a projected breakout player by some analysts. The second-round pick in 2020 missed his entire rookie season, but came back in 2021 and was able to rack up a respectable 6.5 sacks. Alton Robinson was selected in that same draft class, so he could also take the next step with additional experience.
The Seahawks also added a promising pass rusher in Boye Mafe in the 2022 NFL Draft. The second-round pick was a pass-rush specialist for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in college, showing good explosiveness and a variety of pass-rush moves to disengage blockers and get to the quarterback.
Shelby Harris could generate some pressure on the defensive line after being traded by the Denver Broncos in the trade that shipped off Russell Wilson. He had a career year in 2021 with six sacks, and should be able to contribute as an interior pass rusher. Former Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Uchenna Nwosu will also be an interesting addition, as the 25-year-old is still developing into a prominent pass rusher.
Whoever ends up stepping up in 2022, the Seahawks at least have some depth when it comes to getting after the quarterback, even without Dunlap.