SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks are releasing veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap after the sides could not agree on a contract extension that would soften the blow of a $14.1 million salary cap hit.
A person with knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Monday of the pending release of Dunlap, who was acquired in a trade with Cincinnati midway through last season. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced by the team.
Dunlap, 32, was a major boost to Seattle’s pass rush following his arrival from the Bengals. Dunlap appeared in eight regular season games for the Seahawks with five sacks and 14 quarterback hits. He was the spark for a Seattle pass rush that was among the better units in the league over the second half of the season.
But his salary for 2021 was always going to be a point of contention, especially with Seattle tight against the salary cap. When the trade was made, Seattle agreed to let Dunlap test free agency if an extension could not be reached.
Dunlap posted a thank you to the Seahawks on social media Monday.
If Seattle can’t find another option in free agency, it will be the third straight year the Seahawks will go into the season with questions about their pass rush. Before the 2019 season, the Seahawks acquired Jadeveon Clowney from Houston to bolster the unit. Last year, Dunlap became the answer after Seattle’s defensive front struggled for the first half of the season.
Before being traded last season, Dunlap spent his entire career with the Bengals and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 and 2016. He had 46 sacks between 2015-19 and had eight sacks last year for Cincinnati.
But Dunlap had grown unhappy with his situation in Cincinnati and how he was being used by the Bengals coaching staff. Just before the trade, Dunlap briefly put his house for sale on social media. In his social media post on Monday, Dunlap noted the house in Cincinnati is officially listed and he's “about to lower the price.”
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