The Seattle Seahawks finally landed their pass rusher as the team traded for former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap. The Seahawks are sending backup center B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick to the Bengals for a pass rusher they have the option of having under contract through 2021.
“Seahawks were wary of trading for a player in the last year of his deal and giving up already limited draft capital for a half-year rental,” ESPN’s Brady Henderson noted on Twitter. “Dunlap has two years left and was had for only a seventh. Tradeoff is his salary: the prorated amount of $7.8M this year + over $10M in ‘21.”
It is a home run deal for Seahawks general manager John Schneider who was able to unload Finney’s contract while landing a potential starting defensive end without giving up a lot of draft capital. The Seahawks signed Finney over the offseason with the expectation that he would win the starting center job but was never able to crack the rotation.
This is the biggest move the Seahawks have made in 2020 to address the team’s pass rush. The Seahawks let Jadeveon Clowney walk while signing Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa over the offseason. The Seahawks lost Irvin for the rest of the season after the linebacker sustained a torn ACL against the Patriots in Week 2.
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Dunlap Had at Least 7.5 Sacks for 7 Straight Seasons With the Bengals
Dunlap has had at least 7.5 sacks the past seven seasons but fell out of favor with the Bengals. The tension grew so bad that the Bengals told the pass rusher to stay home until Cincinnati was able to find a suitor.
“Sources: The Bengals have told DE Carlos Dunlap to stay home rather than come to work today as the team sorts out his future,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted. “They have had trade talks centered around their disgruntled pass-rusher, and those are continuing.”
According to Spotrac, Dunlap has a $4.8 million salary for the remainder of the season and a non-guaranteed $11.25 million in 2021.
“Carlos Dunlap brings a $4.8M salary to the #Seahawks for 2020, then a non-guaranteed $11.25M in 2021,” Spotrac noted on Twitter. “His trade leaves behind dead cap hits of $6.18M & $2.25M to the #Bengals over this & next season.”
Dunlap Can Play as Soon as Week 9 vs. Bills
The Seahawks were able to pull off the deal about a week before the NFL trade deadline which means Dunlap can play as soon as Week 9 against the Bills. Dunlap will be unavailable this week against the 49ers as the defensive end has to go through COVID-19 protocols. Assuming all goes as planned with the testing, Dunlap will be eligible to make his Seahawks debut in Week 9.
There is no denying the Seahawks defense has been bad, but there are several reasons to believe things could get better for Seattle. Jamal Adams has been sidelined since Week 4 but is expected back on the field soon, and “Snacks” Harrison could make his Seahawks debut this week against the 49ers.
Dunlap has just one sack so far this season but saw his playing time steadily diminish in Cincinnati. The defensive end played just 23 percent of the Bengals snaps in Week 7 against the Browns after starting out 2020 at 70 percent.