Quinton Dunbar

West Notes: M. Jones, Seahawks, Clinton-Dix

It has been looking increasingly likely that the 49ers will draft Alabama passer Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter said just yesterday that Jones would be the Niners’ pick. But Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network isn’t as convinced. On a recent PFN Draft Insiders podcast (link), Pauline said he is hearing that whether San Francisco goes with Jones or one of Justin Fields or Trey Lance is a 50-50 proposition.

Of course, this time of year is notorious for false leaks and misinformation, but the Niners are at least doing their due diligence on Fields. The Ohio State QB will hold a second pro day, and 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch are expected to attend.

Now for a few more West-related items:

  • The 49ers have hosted DL Ronald Blair on a visit, as ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. Blair, whom the Niners selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, was a useful piece of the team’s pass rush rotation during his first few years in the league, but he suffered a torn ACL in November 2019, and it was later revealed that the ensuing surgery was not successful. Though he re-upped with San Francisco on a one-year deal last March, he did not play in a single game in 2020.
  • Cornerback Quinton Dunbar recently signed with the Lions, but the Seahawks wanted to retain him, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Seattle has lost both Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin in free agency, and though the club did bring Ahkello Witherspoon aboard, CB is still an area of need.
  • The Seahawks continue to seek offensive line depth. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Seattle visited with guard Cody Wichmann today (Twitter link). Wichmann, a sixth-round pick of the Rams in 2015, has managed to land a couple of reserve/futures contracts and a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2018, but he hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2016. He has 18 career starts to his credit.
  • After the first few weeks of the new league year, the Raiders still have a glaring need at safety, but they don’t seem too worried about it. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the only FA safety Vegas was in on early was Rayshawn Jenkins, who inked a four-year, $35MM deal with the Jaguars. Players like Kenny Vaccaro, Duron Harmon, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remain available, and the Raiders actually had Clinton-Dix in for a visit in March. Tafur suggests that the 28-year-old may have an offer in hand from Vegas and could be waiting for the market to pick back up before agreeing to a deal.

Lions To Sign CB Quinton Dunbar

Quinton Dunbar took his Lions visit Monday, and the meeting produced an agreement. Dunbar agreed to a one-year deal with the Lions, according to his agency (on Twitter). It is a veteran salary benefit deal with a $990K base salary and a $137.5K signing bonus, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This will be the veteran cornerback’s third team in three years. Washington traded Dunbar to Seattle last season. Injuries ended Dunbar’s lone Seahawks slate early, but he will attempt to bounce back with the Lions. The Cardinals had a Dunbar visit scheduled for this week, but the Lions will prevent that summit from taking place.

The Lions are adding Dunbar to their reconfigured cornerback mix. Under a new regime, the team released veterans Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman to break up a corner troika (Trufant-Coleman-Jeff Okudah) that barely saw any time together. Okudah will now pair with Dunbar, who will reunite with ex-Washington assistant Aubrey Pleasant — Detroit’s new secondary coach.

Dunbar broke through in 2019, rating as one of Pro Football Focus’ top corners after a season in which he intercepted four passes and held opposing quarterbacks to a collective 61.2 passer rating. During a 2020 offseason that saw Dunbar encounter a legal issue that ended with charges dropped, Washington traded him to Seattle for a fifth-round pick. The 28-year-old defender played in just six games, with a knee injury and a subsequent surgery ending his season early.

Despite coming into the NFL in 2015, Dunbar has made only 31 starts. But the ex-Florida Gator entered the league as a UDFA and did not become a full-timer until 2019. He figures to be a starter alongside Okudah in 2021.

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Quinton Dunbar To Visit Cardinals, Lions

Quinton Dunbar saw his stock diminish last year, but the veteran cornerback is drawing interest as a free agent. He has secured meetings with the Cardinals and Lions, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

After a breakout 2019 season in Washington, Dunbar was unable to secure an extension with the team’s new regime. Washington shipped one of its starting corners to Seattle for a fifth-round pick, and Dunbar did not provide much value for the Seahawks. He played just six games and could not match the performance level he established in his final Washington slate, allowing a 111 passer rating — after he had limited QBs to a collective 61.2 mark in 2019.

While the Seahawks also have a need at corner, Dunbar has not been linked to a new deal with them. He underwent knee surgery late last year. The 28-year-old defender will, however, meet with two teams in need at the position.

The rebuilding Lions cut both Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman, and 2020 No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah is recovering from an injury that ended his season early. The Cardinals separated with Patrick Peterson after 10 seasons, and 2020 Arizona contributor Dre Kirkpatrick is no longer under contract. Arizona is a bit deeper than Detroit at this juncture, having Byron Murphy and the recently signed Malcolm Butler on its roster.

Wherever he lands, Dunbar will aim to return to the heights he reached in 2019. Although he only played 11 games, the former UDFA intercepted four passes and graded as a top-five corner in the view of Pro Football Focus. Dunbar has 31 starts in six seasons. Most of those came over the past three.

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Quinton Dunbar To Undergo Surgery

Quinton Dunbar will not return from the Seahawks’ IR list this season. The veteran cornerback will undergo a surgery that will sideline him until 2021, Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter).

A knee injury sidelined Dunbar last month; he has been out since Week 9. This news comes a week after Dunbar returned to practice. The former UDFA is due to be a free agent in March.

Acquired from Washington for a fifth-round pick, Dunbar encountered a legal issue this offseason but ended up avoiding charges and a suspension. The sixth-year veteran started six Seahawks games but did not play as well as he did during his final Washington campaign. After a four-INT 2019 season that featured a 61.2 passer rating allowed on passes thrown his way, Dunbar allowed a 111.0 passer rating on 54 targets this year.

This is a bad break for the 28-year-old defender, who was discussing an extension with the Bruce Allen-led Washington front office before the franchise changed regimes. He will head into free agency with less momentum than he had after his 2019 breakthrough.

Seattle also has Tre Flowers on IR but has received positive results from waiver claim D.J. Reed lately. The ex-49ers corner broke up a season-high three passes Sunday, intercepted another and recovered a fumble against Washington.

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NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Whitworth, Garoppolo

Cardinals NT Corey Peters is out for the season due to a torn patellar tendon, and as he is in the final year of his contract with Arizona, it’s possible he has already played his last game with the team. But if he has it his way, that won’t be the case.

The 32-year-old said that he would love to spend the rest of his career with the Cardinals, as Mason Kern of SI.com writes, and assuming the price is right, it would make sense for GM Steve Keim to keep him. Peters was named Arizona’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award yesterday, and he has been a team captain for three years running. In addition to his stout defense against the run, he is a highly-respected spiritual and emotional leader, so look for the two sides to discuss a reunion this offseason.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald says he feels much better after testing positive for COVID-19 late last month, though he has yet to regain his senses of taste and smell (Twitter link via Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.com). Fitz also says he lost nine pounds during his bout with the coronavirus, but he did come off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday, and as Darren Urban of the team’s official website tweets, the 37-year-old will suit up against the Giants this weekend.
  • After sinking 88.6% of his field goal tries in 2019, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez has converted just 72.7% of his attempts this year, prompting some to wonder if the team will seek another option. But Keim will keep rolling with Gonzalez, saying, “I know people question Zane but Zane has a lot of talent. … I think Zane will work through the tough times” (Twitter link via Urban). Gonzalez is playing out the season on his RFA tender, and this is not how he wanted to enter his first offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Rams suddenly find themselves atop the NFC West, and they could be getting their left tackle back soon. Andrew Whitworth has been on the shelf since the middle of November with a torn MCL and PCL, but Jay Glazer of FOX Sports says (via Twitter) that the veteran OT, who turns 39 tomorrow, will test out the knee next week. Whitworth is apparently way ahead of schedule and could return by the end of the regular season.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo‘s future with the 49ers is in some doubt, even though HC Kyle Shanahan recently said he expects the dashing signal-caller to be the team’s starter in 2021. That may well be the case, but Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes San Francisco will select a QB in next year’s draft, perhaps as high as the second round. There could be a few intriguing prospects available at that point that Shanahan may be able to turn into a viable starter at the professional level. Players like Florida’s Kyle Trask or Alabama’s Mac Jones could both be options.
  • It has now been over a year since Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny last suited up for a game, but as John Boyle of the team’s official website notes, Penny returned to practice this week. Head coach Pete Carroll says he’s excited about what he has seen from Penny in practice (Twitter link via 710 ESPN Seattle), and the ‘Hawks could certainly use a boost to an RB corps that has dealt with a number of injuries this season. Per Boyle, CB Quinton Dunbar, who has been on IR for a few weeks with a knee injury, has also returned to practice.
  • The Seahawks signed QB Alex McGough to their practice squad yesterday, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the team has put its other PS signal-caller, Danny Etling, in a bubble. The Broncos, of course, recently had to play a game with a practice squad wide receiver at QB because the rest of their quarterbacks were deemed high-risk close contacts of Jeff Driskel, who had tested positive. The Seahawks are keeping Etling in a bubble to guard against just such a situation.

Seahawks To Place Quinton Dunbar On IR

The Seahawks will go a second straight game without one of their cornerback starters Thursday night, and Quinton Dunbar‘s injury-related absence will be extended to at least four weeks.

Dunbar will go on Seattle’s IR list, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The offseason trade acquisition is battling a knee injury — one that shelved him for the Seahawks’ Week 10 loss to the Rams.

Seattle will promote Snacks Harrison and running back Bo Scarbrough from its practice squad. Chris Carson is not expected to play against the Cardinals tonight, and Scarbrough stands to provide depth for a backfield that has not been at full strength in weeks. Technically, Seattle’s running back stable has been incomplete all season due to Rashaad Penny‘s absence.

Dunbar has started all six games he’s played with his new team. The Seahawks sent Washington a fifth-round pick for the sixth-year veteran. Pro Football Focus has not viewed the 2019 standout’s play as particularly strong this season, ranking him 106th among full-time corners. Seattle’s defense enters Week 11 last in yards allowed; its pass defense has been the primary culprit.

The 28-year-old defender was in talks with the Bruce Allen-led Washington front office about an extension, but the Ron Rivera regime traded him to Seattle. His current deal expires at season’s end. Dunbar broke through as a full-time starter last season, intercepting four passes and grading as one of the NFL’s top defenders (per PFF), but could use a strong stretch run to impact potential Seahawks extension talks or a 2021 free agency bid.

This will be Harrison’s second time in a Seahawks game uniform. The team waited several weeks before activating the former All-Pro nose tackle, and Harrison played 19 defensive snaps against the Rams. He should be ticketed for another part-time role tonight.

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Seahawks Promote S Damarious Randall

As could be expected given the circumstances, the Seahawks are promoting Damarious Randall from their practice squad.

The Seahawks signed the former first-round pick earlier this week. Randall will likely play a key role Sunday against the Dolphins. Neither Jamal Adams nor Quinton Dunbar practiced this week. Both are out for Seattle’s Week 4 contest.

Randall could not make the Raiders’ 53-man roster this year, after signing a one-year deal, but brings 65 games’ and 56 starts’ worth of experience to the Seahawks’ depleted secondary. After being used at cornerback for three season in Green Bay, Randall started 26 games at safety with Cleveland over the past two seasons.

Seattle will also elevate linebacker Shaquem Griffin and cornerback Gavin Heslop from its practice squad. Beginning his season on the Seahawks’ practice squad, Griffin played in Seattle’s shootout win over Dallas last weekend. The third-year linebacker was active for each of the Seahawks’ 32 regular-season games from 2018-19.

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Quinton Dunbar Cleared To Join Seahawks

Effective today, Quinton Dunbar has the greenlight to rejoin the Seahawks (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com). Dunbar has been removed from the NFL’s exempt list, which permits him to get back to offseason work.

[RELATED: No Charges For Quinton Dunbar]

The Broward State Attorney’s office declined to pursue charges against Dunbar for his alleged role in an armed robbery. Giants cornerback Deandre Baker, on the other hand, will be prosecuted for four counts of robbery with a firearm.

The Seahawks allowed Dunbar to participate in their offseason program up until he was placed on the league’s exempt list. That was, perhaps, an indication that they knew a little more about the case than the general public. At the outset, authorities claimed that Baker held partygoers at gunpoint while Dunbar robbed them. The Broward State Attorney’s office hasn’t cleared Dunbar of wrongdoing, per se, but insufficient evidence against him has led them to refocus the case on Baker.

The league office may still conduct its own investigation against Dunbar, especially in wake of witness tampering allegations. Dunbar’s ex-defense attorney Michael Grieco was accused of paying off victims in an effort to get them to change their story.

Dumbar, 28, graded out as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus.

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DeAndre Baker Facing Four Charges For Robbery; No Charges For Quinton Dunbar

Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker will be charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm, per an announcement from the Broward State Attorney’s office. Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar – who was previously alleged to be his accomplice – will not face charges, due to a lack of evidence.

Both players are currently on the commissioner’s exempt list, which bars them from playing or practicing. The Giants effectively beat the league to the punch on that front, having asked Baker to stay home shortly after the incident. The Seahawks, on the other hand, had Dunbar log in for virtual offseason activities.

Baker was originally facing eight felony charges while Dunbar was facing four. Recently, Baker was reported to be involved in an attempt to pay off witnesses to recant their statements related to the robbery. Dunbar’s former attorney, Michael Grieco, was allegedly involved in this scheme as well. Baker’s attorney denies this occurred and said his client has passed a lie detector test.

Baker, entering his second year as a pro, was a first-round pick of the Giants in 2019. He was their biggest draft investment at cornerback since Eli Apple, but he struggled in coverage as a rookie. The Giants were hoping to see him take a step forward as a starter this year, but it seems unlikely that he’ll take the field anytime soon.

Dunbar, meanwhile, was traded from the Washington Football Team to the Seahawks. Last year, Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the league’s best corners, and he finished out with four interceptions.

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Latest On Deandre Baker, Quinton Dunbar

Giants cornerback Deandre Baker has been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Baker, of course, is facing several charges for his alleged role in an armed robbery. Dunbar has landed on the list as well, Rapoport adds (via Twitter). Both players will appeal this placement, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter links).

The Exempt list means that Baker and Dunbar will be barred from playing or practicing, though they will be paid while they wait in limbo with the league office. Effectively, the Exempt list is used to give the NFL time to wait things out while legal matters and the league’s own investigation plays out. Earlier this year, the Giants asked Baker to stay home and focus on his off-the-field matters. The Seahawks, however, were including Dunbar in their virtual offseason.

Baker is facing eight felony charges stemming from his alleged involvement in an armed robbery that took place in May. Dunbar faces four. Last month, Baker was reported to be involved in an attempt to pay off witnesses to recant their statements related to the robbery. Dunbar’s former attorney, Michael Grieco, was allegedly involved in this scheme as well. Baker’s attorney denies this occurred and said his client has passed a lie detector test.

Prior to Monday’s news, the Giants had not informed Baker to stay away from camp. The second-year cornerback was planning on attending, per Schwartz. The Giants traded back into the first round to draft Baker in 2019. He represents their biggest draft investment in a cornerback since they used a top-10 pick on Eli Apple four years ago. Baker struggled in coverage as a rookie but was expected to remain a starter under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham this season. Monday’s news will stall such plans and may well force the Giants to look at possible replacement options — at least for the time being.

Seattle sent a fifth-round pick to Washington for Dunbar, whom Pro Football Focus graded as one of the NFL’s best corners in a breakout, four-interception 2019 season. The sixth-year defender landing on the Exempt list, however, will force the Seahawks to play other corners in his place. Seattle’s 2019 starters, Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, remain on the roster.

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