The Seattle Seahawks acquired a big name ahead of the 2020 NFL trade deadline in order to help shore up their pass rush. Less than five months later, they’re saying goodbye to the same player, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Monday the Seahawks have released defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Acquired in exchange for center B.J. Finney and a seventh-round draft pick, the longtime Cincinnati Bengals veteran was due more than $14 million in 2021.
A two-time Pro Bowler with the Bengals during his more than 10 seasons in Cincinnati, Dunlap was one of the NFL’s steadiest pass rushers during the prime of his career, registering at least 7.5 sacks every year from 2013-2019. Now 32, the former second-round draft pick had openly campaigned for fresh scenery early in the 2020 season, before relocating to Seattle and finishing the season as a primary edge rusher for the Seahawks, logging 4.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits in eight games.
His lofty 2021 salary made him a logical candidate to become a salary cap casualty, especially with the Seahawks entering 2021 free agency with just $11.5 million in projected space and several key veterans, including linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Shaquill Griffin, scheduled to hit the open market. Dunlap was only signed through 2021 as part of a three-year, $40.5 million extension originally inked with the Bengals back in 2018.