Carlos Dunlap‘s name had been mentioned as one receiving increased attention late in the offseason. He has now found a new home, as the Chiefs are signing him to a one-year deal worth up to $8MM (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).
The 33-year-old is best known, of course, for his decade-plus spent with the Bengals. Over that time, he amassed 82.5 sacks, earning Pro Bowl invitations in 2015 and 2016. With the team transitioning to younger front seven options, he was traded midseason to the Seahawks in 2020, with whom he has demonstrated his continued ability to get to the quarterback.
In eight games after the trade, Dunlap registered five sacks. That performance was initially followed by his release, though Seattle did bring him back on a new deal. In 2021, the former second-rounder put up sold numbers again, with 8.5 sacks despite a snap percentage of just 38%. After being cut once again, Dunlap found himself on the open market.
The Seahawks showed interest in another reunion, but other teams became significant suitors as well. The Panthers (his hometown team) hosted him in June, and were reported to still be in the running to sign him as recently as yesterday. Instead, the Chiefs – the latest squad to work him out – have won the bidding for his services.
Kansas City added Melvin Ingram midseason in 2021, but he departed in free agency despite having the UFA tender placed on him, leaving veteran Frank Clark and first-round rookie George Karlaftis as the top defensive ends on the depth chart. That will likely remain the case, but Dunlap showed last season that he can be effective in a rotational role.
The Chiefs had over $11MM in cap space entering today, so this deal will likely be the last significant one of their offseason. It could very well prove to be a productive one, though, as the team looks to retain its perch atop a highly competitive AFC West.