Carlos Dunlap

Seahawks To Release Carlos Dunlap

The Seahawks are cutting Carlos Dunlap, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. The move will save the Seahawks roughly $14MM in cap room and put the edge rusher on the open market. 

Dunlap, 32, was due a $3MM bonus on the fifth day of the league year with a total cap hit of $14.1MM in 2021. Pressed for flexibility, the Seahawks opted against keeping the three-time Pro Bowler.

The Seahawks swung a deal for Dunlap at last year’s deadline, sending offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a draft pick to the Bengals in exchange. Oddly enough, the Bengals released Finney just a few days ago. Dunlap managed five sacks, 14 tackles, and six TFL in his half season, but the numbers crunch forced the Seahawks to go in another direction.

Dunlap, an 11-year vet, has 87.5 career sacks to his credit. He may have to take a pay cut with his next deal, but there should still be a decent market for his services.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Notes: Wilson, Carroll, Dunlap

One of the reasons for the trade rumors swirling around Seahawks QB Russell Wilson — and perhaps the primary reason — is Wilson’s relationship with head coach Pete Carroll, which appears to be strained. Apparently, his relationship with Carroll’s sons hasn’t been much better.

According to a tweet from The Athletic, Wilson believes Carroll and his sons, Nolan and Brennan, answer to no one (Nolan serves as the team’s WRs coach, and Brennan had been working as the run game coordinator before accepting a position at the University of Arizona). And, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Wilson is 100% correct.

Former owner Paul Allen “stayed deep in the background” when he was alive, and his sister, Jody Allen, has largely done the same since she inherited the team. Some league sources believe the Seahawks are essentially run by the Allens’ parent company, Vulcan Inc., which in turn defers to the head coach as the club’s de facto CEO. So while Jody Allen could intervene in light of the Wilson trade rumblings, her track record suggests that she will not do so, and that Pete Carroll will ultimately be the one to decide whether to deal Wilson.

While Wilson himself has said he does not expect to be dealt, Florio believes the 32-year-old will ultimately request a trade either this year or next. If QB and HC do not mend fences soon, it’s easy to envision such a scenario.

Now for more from the Emerald City:

  • Unlike Florio, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com does not believe Wilson will be traded. One of the reasons for that is the fact that — as our Sam Robinson wrote several days ago in the piece linked above — a trade will leave $39MM in dead money on the Seahawks’ cap. While a post-June 1 trade will allow the team to spread out that hit and actually create $19MM in 2021 space, Seattle is lacking a first-rounder and third-rounder this season, so a Wilson trade might be more beneficial if it happened prior to this year’s draft and not after June 1.
  • Still, Henderson believes the ‘Hawks will make a trade that both sheds some salary — the team has less than $8MM of cap space relative to the $180MM floor — and adds some much-needed draft capital. There is no indication as of yet that Seattle will look to trade players like Carlos Dunlap, Bobby Wagner, or Jamal Adams, but Henderson could see it happening.
  • As of now, though, Henderson predicts that the club will cut Dunlap and look to re-sign him to a less expensive contract — the former Bengal is due to carry a $14.1MM cap hit in 2021 — while restructuring the contract of franchise icon Wagner and extending 2020 trade acquisition Adams.
  • Proven performance escalators for several 2018 draftees have played a role in Seattle’s cap crunch. Since he earned a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie season, punter Michael Dickson has a $3.384MM salary for 2021 — the amount of the second-round RFA tender — while cornerback Tre Flowers is due to earn $2.183MM since he met the snap count requirement for the Level One PPE (Twitter link via Henderson). If you need a refresher, OverTheCap.com offers a comprehensive explanation of PPEs.
  • Presently, the Seahawks’ highest draft choice is their second-rounder (No. 56 overall). Given the state of the club’s offensive line, and Wilson’s recent comments in that regard, most mocks have Seattle selecting an OL with that pick, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times observes. Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis and Tennessee guard Trey Smith would be worthy Day 2 selections.

Seahawks’ Carlos Dunlap Reworks Deal

Carlos Dunlap reworked his contract to facilitate his trade to the Seahawks, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Dunlap was initially set to make $4.59MM for the remainder of the year. Now, he’ll earn $2MM over the next two months, plus a $3MM roster bonus for 2021. 

[RELATED: Bengals Trade Carlos Dunlap To Seahawks]

The adjustment — in theory — is a virtual wash for Dunlap. However, he won’t see that $3MM roster bonus unless he’s on the Seahawks’ roster on fifth day of the 2021 league year. If Dunlap doesn’t deliver for Seattle the rest of the way, the Seahawks won’t be inclined to keep him.

The Bengals hardly used Dunlap, and he was unhappy about it to say the least. After starting in Cincinnati’s first four games of the season, he was bumped from the first-string lineup and saw his snap count slashed week after week. Then, about a week before the trade deadline, Dunlap got his wish — the Bengals shipped him to the Seahawks in exchange for offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a draft pick.

Dunlap should help the 6-1 Seahawks generate more pressure against opposing quarterbacks, something they’ve struggled to do thus far in 2020. Despite his rocky first half with the Bengals, the veteran boasts 82.5 career sacks and plenty of ability on the edge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Trade Carlos Dunlap To Seahawks

First, the Bengals told Carlos Dunlap to stay home. Now, they’re shipping him across the country. The Bengals have agreed to trade defensive end Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). In exchange for the former Pro Bowler, the Seahawks will send offensive lineman B.J. Finney and an undisclosed draft pick to the Bengals. The Bengals announced the trade.

[RELATED: Lions Beat Out Seahawks For Griffen]

The Seahawks have been in the market for help on the edge, having pursued Cowboys notable Everson Griffen last week. Instead, the Lions beat them to the punch, leading them to talks with Dunlap. The 5-1 Seahawks have been flying high so far this year, but their pressure has been lacking. Now, they have some big-time support to address their weakest unit.

Dunlap has been unhappy with his role in Cincinnati, to say the least. In recent weeks, he’s ripped the Bengals on social media and he’s been seen yelling at his coaches on the sidelines. Dunlap, 32, has been with the Bengals since 2010, making 148 starts between his debut year and 2019. This year, he’s been bumped from the starting lineup with his playing time dropping week after week.

The Bengals probably should have started their rebuild in earnest last year. Instead, they held on to pricey vets like Dunlap and watched their trade value dip significantly. Dunlap likely won’t be the only player traded this week — longtime D-Line partner Geno Atkins also wants a fresh start. On the other side of the ball, speedy wide receiver John Ross continues to push for a trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Carlos Dunlap: Stay Home

Carlos Dunlap‘s time with the Bengals is running short. On Wednesday, the Bengals told the pass rusher to stay home instead than of joining his teammates in practice (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport).

Dunlap has been unhappy with his role in Cincinnati, and he’s been vocal about it. The Bengals have discussed trades involving the veteran in recent weeks and it sounds like they may pull something together between now and November 3. If they don’t, the Bengals could opt to release him outright.

Cutting Dunlap sometime before the 2021 season would put $11.25MM back on next year’s books. That probably wouldn’t bother defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who has hardly used the longtime pillar of the Bengals’ D. Dunlap didn’t start in the Week 5 loss to the Ravens and he saw just eleven defensive snaps last week against the Browns.

Lately, Dunlap has been seen arguing with coaches on the sidelines and chirping at team brass on social media. Clearly, both sides are fed up, and a divorce is imminent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Looking To Trade Carlos Dunlap

This won’t come as much of a surprise given the tension between player and team, but the Bengals have had active trade talks surrounding defensive end Carlos Dunlap, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes. In fact, Dunlap may be deactivated for this afternoon’s game against the Browns so that he doesn’t suffer an injury that would scuttle a potential deal.

Dunlap started Cincinnati’s first four games of the season and played in 75% of the team’s snaps in its Week 4 win over the Jaguars. But he did not start in the Bengals’ Week 5 loss to the Ravens — the first time in years he had not started a game — and he ultimately played in just 46% of the defensive snaps.

The 31-year-old took issue with the fact that head coach Zac Taylor did not talk to him personally about his demotion, and he recently posted the Bengals’ edge rotations on social media, saying “I don’t got time for this” (via Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic on Twitter). With Cincinnati in rebuild mode, it would not be surprising to see them move on from their unhappy pass rusher.

Of course, plenty of pundits and executives believed the Bengals should have been sellers at last year’s trade deadline, but the team elected to stand pat and did not make any moves to add to its draft capital. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports that Cincinnati may do the same this year, with one NFC executive saying the team’s asking prices on its veteran trade candidates are too high.

Jones’ CBS Sports colleague, Jason La Canfora, is also hearing from rival execs that the Bengals’ have unrealistic demands, though there is a sense that a trade is likelier to get done this year than it was last year. Dunlap, as Rapoport suggests, may have already played his last snap as a Bengal, but RapSheet says Geno Atkins and A.J. Green are probably not going anywhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Notes: Vikings, Giants, Dunlap, Jets

The Vikings greenlit this season’s biggest trade thus far by sending Yannick Ngakoue to the Ravens for third- and fifth-round picks. While GM Rick Spielman said the team is not waving a white flag on its 2020 season, Albert Breer of SI.com notes the Vikings are willing to make more seller’s trades. Teams have contacted them about Kyle Rudolph, their 10th-year tight end who is in the first season of his latest Minnesota extension. The Vikings signed Rudolph to a four-year, $36MM extension but did so shortly after drafting Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. While Breer notes the Vikes are open for business on contract-year players, the soon-to-be 31-year-old Rudolph would make sense as a trade chip as well. He was a trade candidate before he signed his extension. Guard Pat Elflein and franchise-tagged safety Anthony Harris are the Vikings’ highest-profile contract-year players.

Here is the latest from the trade market:

  • While this year’s NFC East could be historically bad, the Giants are 1-6 and in a seller’s position again. They have fielded calls on Kevin Zeitler and Golden Tate, according to Breer. Tate has been a deadline chip before, with the Lions sending him to the Eagles in 2018. Tate’s through-2022 contract, thanks to a PED suspension in 2019, contains no more guaranteed money. Zeitler’s deal runs through 2021. The upper-echelon guard has more than $5MM in salary remaining this season and is due a $12MM base in 2021. The Giants acquired Zeitler via trade in 2019.
  • Washington has lost five straight and is also willing to listen on veterans, per Breer. Two that have come up: edge defenders Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson. The former is Washington’s all-time sack leader; he has three this season for a deep D-line group. But Washington drafted Montez Sweat and Chase Young in the past two first rounds, creating a rare surplus that has moved Kerrigan to a rotational role. Kerrigan and Anderson are in contract years.
  • Carlos Dunlap took issue with the Bengals demoting him, joining Geno Atkins in voicing frustration about playing time. The Bengals were not eager to deal veterans last year, despite their struggles in a 2-14 season, but Breer adds teams view Dunlap as available for trade. Dunlap is Cincinnati’s all-time sack leader but still played a part-time role for the team last week, despite Sam Hubbard‘s IR placement. The Bengals are expected to cut Dunlap in 2021.
  • The Jets dealt nose tackle Steve McLendon to the Buccaneers shortly after their Week 6 game, and in a rare development, McLendon knew he would be a postgame trade piece a day in advance. The Jets interestingly opted not to hold him out of last week’s game. “I got the news on Saturday night that a car would be waiting for me after the game Sunday to come to Tampa,” McLendon said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. “I was like, ‘OK.’ Sunday morning, I woke up, I prayed, and I was like, ‘This is one last ride.’ A lot of guys were saying, ‘Man, you’re really gonna play?’ And I was like, ‘Man, this could be the last time I play with y’all in my career.'” The 11th-year veteran will now be tasked with replacing Vita Vea.
  • Traded players must go through similar protocols to free agency additions. They must pass a COVID-19 test for five days straight and pass a sixth on the day they enter the facility. This formed the Ravens‘ timetable on their Ngakoue trade, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (on Twitter), in order for the defensive end to practice Wednesday and play against the Steelers next week.

Bengals’ Geno Atkins Frustrated With Role

Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap, are frustrated with their roles, according to sources who spoke with Tyler Dragon of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Once pillars of the Bengals’ defensive line, both players have been effectively relegated to third-down roles this year.

The Bengals started Xavier Williams and defensive end Amani Bledsoe over both veterans in the team’s Week 6 loss to the Colts. Atkins saw just 18 snaps while Dunlap was in for 28 defensive plays. Atkins, who is coming off of his eighth-career Pro Bowl nod, is understandably miffed. Dunlap – with two Pro Bowl selections to his credit – has been vocal about his feelings for the last few weeks.

With just a couple of weeks to go before the trade deadline, it’s a situation to monitor. The Bengals are reluctant to move their one-time defensive stars, sources tell Dragon, but that could change quickly. If they don’t trade either player by Nov. 3, the Bengals could move to release them in the offseason. Dropping Atkins would save the team $9.6MM while a Dunlap release would put $11.25MM back on the books.

The Bengals – who are now 1-4-1 after dropping two straight – will look to get back in the win column on Sunday against the Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, JuJu, Ravens

The Bengals may be beginning the process of moving away from their all-time sack leader. For the first time since the 2012 season, Carlos Dunlap did not start. Cincinnati used younger defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson as its first-stringers in Baltimore, playing Dunlap on a season-low 46% of the defensive snaps. Dunlap, who signed an extension to stay in Cincinnati in 2018, said the Bengals did not inform him directly about a demotion ahead of the game but merely listed his new non-starter status on an updated depth chart.

That’s crazy, right? I mean, you would think common decency would be something like that,” Dunlap said (via ESPN.com’s Ben Baby) of the coaching staff not discussing his new role beforehand. “I mean, it’s not like I’m injured or anything. I’m not nursing anything. I’ve been blessed. Eleven years in the game. But I understand business, and evidently, this is the business they want to do.”

Dunlap now looms as a 2021 cap casualty. The Bengals would save $11.25MM by cutting him next year, and Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic (subscription required) expects a release to commence. He could be a trade chip this year, with the rebuilding Bengals sitting last in a stacked division. Dunlap, 31, is due more than $5MM in remaining 2020 base salary. Dunlap’s 82.5 sacks are seven more than anyone else has accumulated in Bengals history, but Pro Football Focus rates both Lawson and Hubbard above him through five games.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Dunlap will not be the only longtime Bengal out of the picture next year. The team spending $18MM-plus to tag A.J. Green has not worked out, and John Ross has been a healthy scratch the past three weeks. Perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins made his season debut last week, but Dehner notes in the same piece the $9.6MM the team could save by moving on him puts that on the table. Atkins’ 75.5 sacks are second in Bengals history, holding that spot by more than 25 sacks. A fellow 11th-year vet, Atkins signed an extension along with Dunlap in 2018. Two years remain on his deal, whereas 2021 would be a Dunlap contract year.
  • On the subject of big-picture separations, the Steelers will have a decision to make fairly soon. They appear to have unearthed their latest Day 2 wide receiver success story, with Chase Claypool dominating the Eagles in a four-touchdown performance. With Claypool signed through 2023 and both Diontae Johnson and James Washington signed beyond this season, JuJu Smith-Schuster‘s future with the team could be cloudy. The Steelers should be expected to let the former Pro Bowler walk in free agency, per Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. Art Rooney II was vague on this subject this offseason. Ahead of the curve at identifying receiver talent, the Steelers have only signed Hines Ward and Antonio Brown to notable extensions in the Ben Roethlisberger era. Smith-Schuster is averaging just 9.0 yards per catch this season (21/188). That said, his 1,400-yard 2018 season would make the 23-year-old slot receiver a hot commodity on the 2021 market.
  • Although injured reserve stays only require three-week absences this season, the Bengals are not planning on having one of their starting O-linemen back soon. Guard Xavier Su’a-Filo is not expected to return until after Cincinnati’s Week 9 bye. Zac Taylor said the veteran blocker may be out beyond that point, per Dehner (on Twitter). The Bengals signed Su’a-Filo this offseason and used him as a Week 1 starter but placed him on IR because of an injured ankle soon after.
  • Prior to the Ravens promoting center Trystan Colon-Castillo, multiple teams expressed interest in poaching him from Baltimore’s practice squad, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets. The Ravens signed the University of Missouri product as a UDFA this year; they made him a game-day inactive in Week 5.

GMs Expecting Active Trade Deadline

The NFL has experienced a dramatic rise in significant trades over the past several years, and there may be a few noteworthy swaps going down this month as we get closer to the October 29 trade deadline. Indeed, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says there is a sense among general managers that we may see more trades in advance of this year’s deadline than ever before, largely because there is a larger gulf between pretenders and contenders than in seasons past (indeed, there are still six winless teams, which is the highest number at this point in the season since the 1970 merger).

La Canfora says the teams most actively laying groundwork for potential deals are the Saints, Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs, Patriots, and Seahawks. Of course, a number of those clubs have already been pursuing Jacksonville CB Jalen Ramsey, and the Saints, Eagles, Ravens, and Chiefs are casting a wide net for cornerback upgrades.

One of this year’s still-winless clubs, the Broncos, are reportedly more open to moving veteran pieces than they were last year, as La Canfora writes in a separate piece, with Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, and Emmanuel Sanders all generating interest. Wolfe could make sense for Baltimore, and the Saints are expected to renew their pursuit of Sanders. Even Von Miller could be on the block, per La Canfora, especially since all of his major bonuses and guarantees have already been paid. Miller, 30, is reportedly open to a change of scenery at this point, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says the Broncos will not trade him (video link). However, the other players mentioned above could be available if Denver continues to scuffle.

But while Denver may be willing to talk shop, rival GMs are skeptical that the 0-4 Bengals, led by old-school owner Mike Brown, will be amenable to moving big-name vets despite their fading fortunes. La Canfora’s sources say Cincinnati could net a first-round pick for WR A.J. Green if the acquiring club is able to work out a new contract with him as a condition of the trade (and if Green recovers from his foot injury soon). The Patriots and Saints could make a push for Green or Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, and Cincy could also swing deals for players like Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap if the club is willing to listen to offers.

Like fellow winless outfits Denver and Cincinnati, the Jets could be active in shopping veteran players in advance of the deadline. La Canfora specifically names Kelechi Osemele and Leonard Williams as players who could be on the move, though he says there has been no trade chatter surrounding Le’Veon Bell at this point.

Finally, though the 0-4 Redskins have been steadfastly refusing to trade Trent Williams, some believe that the team will relent at some point and will ship Williams to a contender in need of O-line help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.