Carlos Dunlap is no longer a member of the Seahawks. Adam Schefter reported on Monday that Seattle cut Dunlap in order to free up $14.1 million in cap space. The move results in zero dead money for the Seahawks.
Dunlap will now get to test free agency for the first time in his career, though it's unlikely he'll get the same money he was due from the Seahawks in 2021 as there is a large number of edge players currently on the market.
Dunlap posted 5.0 sacks, six tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits in eight games with the Seahawks after a midseason trade sent him from Cincinnati to Seattle. Two of those sacks sealed wins late in the fourth quarter against Washington and Arizona. He also had a quarterback hit and two passes defended against the Rams in the Wild Card Round.
Upon being traded, Dunlap took a pay cut in order to keep Seattle under the salary cap. In turn, the Seahawks gave him an additional $3 million bonus for 2021 should he remain on the roster. The idea was that by taking less in the moment, Dunlap could play for a contender and have the chance to earn more money the following season. His standout play made him worthy of that $14.1 million cap hit.
That doesn't make this move surprising. The Seahawks are desperate for cap space with a number of voids on the roster that need filling. They are likely counting on getting a pass rusher or two at a discount due to the saturated market at the position and mostly minimal open cap space league wide.
Seattle could very well try to get Dunlap back at a discount depending on what his market looks like in free agency.
Jamal Adams is the best pass rusher left on the roster. Jarran Reed, Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor are the remaining pass rush pieces along the defensive line. There's a chance Seattle runs it back with Benson Mayowa and/or Bruce Irvin again in 2021, but the Seahawks will need a more heralded name regardless.
Whomever Seattle ends up bringing in, there's no guarantee that player provides the seamless impact of Dunlap, who was unquestionably a perfect fit with the Seahawks.
Dunlap just turned 32 in February and said he wants to play until he reaches 100 sacks. He's currently at 87.5 over his 11-year career.