Carlos Dunlap

Chiefs To Sign Carlos Dunlap

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.

“It’s been a whirlwind trip,” he said of his visit to Kansas City. “It’s an exciting time for me and a long time coming” (Twitter links via CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson).

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.

DL Carlos Dunlap To Meet With Chiefs; Panthers Continue To Have Interest

The market for Carlos Dunlap is heating up. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the free agent defensive lineman is visiting the Chiefs tonight. Meanwhile, Joseph Person of The Athletic writes that the Panthers continue to have interest in Dunlap after meeting with him earlier this offseason.

The two-time Pro Bowler got into all 17 games for the Seahawks last season, and while he only appeared in 38 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, he still managed to finish with 35 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus was particularly fond of his performance, ranking him 30th among 108 qualifying edge rushers. PFF also ranked the veteran 16th at the position for his run defense, and his pass-rush grade was above average, so while Dunlap may not have the stamina to be an every-down player, he still has the skills to play in most situations.

Besides the Panthers and now the Chiefs, the Seahawks were the only other team mentioned as a landing spot for Dunlap. However, we haven’t heard a whole lot on that front in months.

The Chiefs have always seemed like a fit for Dunlap, although this is the first time we’re hearing the organization definitively connected to the 33-year-old. After losing Melvin Ingram III in free agency, Kansas City is currently eyeing Frank Clark and rookie George Karlaftis as their starting edge rushers. Dunlap might not necessarily supplant either of those two in the starting lineup, but he’d provide some experienced depth behind the duo.

Meanwhile, Person tweets that the Panthers continue to show interest in adding front-seven help, having reached out to Dunlap earlier this week. The veteran visited Carolina in June but left without a deal. The Panthers current in-house options to start opposite Brian Burns at defensive end include 2020 second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos, Darryl Johnson, and rookie Amare Barno.

Free Agent DE Carlos Dunlap Considering Options

Carlos Dunlap is generating interest on the open market. The veteran free agent edge rusher has received interest from teams and is “deciding on the best fit,” reports Doug Kyed of ProFootballFocus.com.

It’s been relatively quiet for Dunlap since getting released by the Seahawks back in March. A second reunion with Seattle was mentioned as a possibility, but we haven’t heard much on that front in months. The veteran also met with the Panthers earlier this month, but despite the two-day visit, Dunlap ended up leaving without a contract.

While the two-time Pro Bowler is getting up there in age, he could still be a useful depth piece. He got into all 17 games for the Seahawks last season, and while he only appeared in 38 percent of his team’s defensive snaps, he still managed to finish with 35 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus was particularly fond of his performance, ranking him 30th among 108 qualifying edge rushers. PFF also ranked the veteran 16th at the position for his run defense, and his pass-rush grade was above average, so while Dunlap may not have the stamina to be an every-down player, he still has the skills to play in most situations.

Who could be an option for Dunlap? Besides the Seahawks and Panthers, Kyed suggests that the Chiefs could be a fit. After losing Melvin Ingram III in free agency, Kansas City is currently eyeing Frank Clark and rookie George Karlaftis as their starting edge rushers. Dunlap might not necessarily supplant either of those two in the starting lineup, but he’d provide some experienced depth behind the duo.

Panthers Hosting Carlos Dunlap

One of the top remaining defensive free agents could be close to finding his next NFL team. Carlos Dunlap is visiting the Panthers, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Dunlap’s visit is expected to encompass both Monday and Tuesday, USA Today’s Josina Anderson tweets.

The 33-year-old finds himself on the open market for the second straight offseason, having been released by the Seahawks. A second consecutive reunion with Seattle was said to be on the table in March, but there has been little reported interest on that front since. Dunlap showcased his continued ability to get to the quarterback in 2021, posting 8.5 sacks despite playing a rotational role.

As part of the team’s overall youth movement, Seattle signed Uchenna Nwosu in free agency, who profiles as a better scheme fit in its new 3-4 defense. That pointed to Dunlap heading elsewhere, though he has remained under the free agent radar both before and after the draft.

As a North Charleston native, a deal with the Panthers would represent a homecoming for the two-time Pro Bowler. Carolina lost a major element of their pass rush when Haason Reddick departed in free agency. Dunlap would likely help to fill that void, given his production last year being reminiscent of his time in Cincinnati. The Panthers also drafted Amare Barno in the sixth round in April.

While Carolina’s edge group will be led by Brian Burns regardless of if Dunlap signs or not, the 12-year veteran would have a role to play on his third NFL team. On, presumably, another short-term deal as his career winds down, Dunlap could add an experienced presence to a team looking to take significant steps forward in 2022.

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Seahawks Open To Re-Signing Carlos Dunlap

Carlos Dunlap found himself in familiar territory earlier this month. The team released him in a cost-cutting move, as they had one year earlier. Another reunion between the two parties is possible, though, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson (Twitter link). 

[RELATED: Seahawks Release Dunlap, Hyder]

Dunlap, 33, has played 25 total games during his time in Seattle. After more than a decade with the Bengals, he was traded there in October 2020. The Seahawks cut him at the end of the season, but brought him back not long after. The move didn’t come as a surprise, and Dunlap signed a two-year deal. Halfway through that pact, however, he finds himself a free agent once again.

In eight games after the trade, Dunlap totalled five sacks, demonstrating his continued ability to help a teams’ pass rush into the latter stages of his career. Even though he only started two of 17 contests in 2021, he improved on his previous numbers. The former Gator posted 35 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 14 QB hits despite playing only 38% of defensive snaps.

While Henderson reports that another new contract between Dunlap and Seattle “isn’t out of the question”, he is quick to note the schematic changes the team has undergone this offseason. At six-foot-six and 285 pounds, Dunlap profiles better as a 4-3 defensive end than the 3-4 outside linebacker he would need to be in Seattle going forward.

Henderson further states that there is “nothing imminent” regarding a contract for Dunlap, either with the Seahawks or any other team. Despite being let go in two straight seasons, that next deal could still come from Seattle, if both sides are willing and able to agree on yet another new pact.

Seahawks Release Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder

For the second straight offseason, the Seahawks released Carlos Dunlap. The team also cut fellow defensive lineman Kerry Hyder on Friday.

While the Seahawks reached a new agreement with Dunlap shortly after cutting him last year, it is unclear if the veteran defensive end remains in the team’s plans this time around. Hyder joined the Seahawks after spending the 2020 season with the 49ers. These two join Benson Mayowa as D-linemen moved off Seattle’s roster.

[RELATED: Seahawks To Sign DL Quinton Jefferson]

The Seahawks are releasing Dunlap with a post-June 1 designation, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets, softening the dead-money blow for 2022. The team cannot recoup the extra funds until that date but it defrays some of Dunlap’s dead-cap hit until 2023. Because of Dunlap’s post-June 1 designation, the Seahawks will save just more than $7MM by shedding these two contracts.

Dunlap, 33, led the Seahawks with 8.5 sacks last season. Coming over from the Bengals in a 2020 deadline deal, Dunlap helped a struggling Seahawks defense rebound in that season’s second half. The former Cincinnati Pro Bowl rusher notched five of his six 2020 sacks as a Seahawk, helping them to the playoffs. Dunlap is four sacks away from 100 for his career. His 2021 production makes it likely he will catch on for a 13th NFL season.

Formerly with the Lions, Hyder has made single-season stopovers in the NFC West. He did not fare as well in Seattle as he did in San Francisco, seeing his sack total drop from 8.5 as a 49er to 1.5 as a Seahawk. Hyder, 30, did play 15 games last season and is a seven-year veteran. He figures to bring rotational value, at least, to another team as a free agent.

Contract Details: Dunlap, Bills, Texans, Burns

Let’s catch up on some of the latest contract details from around the league:

  • Seahawks DE Carlos Dunlap: Two-years, $13.6MM. This had previously been reported as $16.6MM, but it turns out Seattle got Dunlap back for a few million cheaper than that, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. It’s actually a five-year pact with three years that automatically void for cap spreading purposes. As previously reported, it has $8.5MM in guaranteed money. Dunlap was set to have a $14.1MM cap charge for 2021 before the Seahawks cut him and then re-signed him to this less expensive deal.
  • Bills LB Tyler Matakevich: One-year extension. Buffalo gave their special teams ace a one-year extension through the 2022 season, which lowered his 2021 cap number to $2.95MM from $3.7MM, Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic tweets. His base salary for 2021 is now fully guaranteed. He’ll count for $3.25MM against the 2022 cap, but there will only be $750K in dead money if he’s released.
  • Texans CB Tavierre Thomas: Two-years, $4MM. We now have details on this contract, as Thomas will be getting $2MM in guaranteed money, Wilson tweets. Not bad for a player who prior to 2020 was mostly a special teams guy. He ended up playing almost 20 percent of the defensive snaps for the Browns last year as they dealt with injuries in their secondary. He got a $1MM signing bonus, a $1MM guaranteed salary for 2021, and a non-guaranteed $1.5MM salary for 2022 with $250K in per game active roster bonuses for each season.
  • Bears CB Artie Burns: One-year, $990K. The financial terms on this one were previously not reported, and it turns out the former first-round pick only got the veteran’s minimum from Chicago, Wilson tweets. The 25th pick of the 2016 draft by the Steelers got over $1MM to sign with the Bears last offseason, but then tore his ACL in August before playing a down for the team.

Seahawks Re-Sign Carlos Dunlap

The Seahawks are putting the money they are about to save from Jarran Reed‘s imminent departure to good use. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was among those to report, Seattle is re-signing defensive end Carlos Dunlap to a two-year, $16.6MM contract with $8.5MM in guarantees (Twitter link).

Seattle acquired Dunlap in a trade deadline deal in October in an effort to boost its struggling pass rush. And Dunlap delivered, contributing five sacks and six tackles for loss in his eight games with the ‘Hawks. However, he was due to carry a $14.1 cap charge in 2021, and that was just too much for the team to stomach with the salary cap decreasing by about $16MM.

As such, the Seahawks released the longtime Bengal several weeks ago, but even before the release, we heard that Seattle could look to cut Dunlap and then re-sign him to a less expensive contract. And that’s exactly what happened.

The Dunlap re-up comes on the heels of Benson Mayowa‘s new one-year deal and Kerry Hyder‘s three-year accord. We heard earlier this evening that the club was set to trade or release Reed, and while Seattle certainly would have liked to retain its DT, Pete Carroll & Co. believe Dunlap is more valuable to the Seahawks at this point.

Dunlap, 32, has 87.5 career sacks to his credit, and he will have a good chance to hit the century mark with the Seahawks. There was no reported interest his services after he was released, but as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, he wanted to return to Seattle all along. So both sides are probably pretty happy this evening.

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.