It's been a wild month for Quinton Dunbar.
The Redskins cornerback first requested a trade on Feb. 10, citing the team would not commit to him long-term. Dunbar then walked back on that request two days later, saying his request was blown out of proportion and he just wanted to know where he stands with the Redskins new regime. But after the team reportedly declined to engage in conversation about the matter, Dunbar told ESPN's Josina Anderson he still wants out of Washington.
Dunbar enters the final year of his contract, one that includes no guaranteed money.
Ron Rivera addressed local media at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday for the first time since the Dunbar news broke, and the new Redskins head coach said he spoke to the cornerback and they "had a great conversation."
Despite Dunbar's requests, Rivera expects the cornerback to report to the facility on April 6, when the team begins Organized Team Activities (OTAs). The cornerback previously told NBC Sports Washington he didn't plan on reporting to OTAs without a new contract.
"I know what he has said, and we won't know until April 6, but the hope is that he'll come in ready to roll," Rivera said. "He is under contract."
Rivera expressed the need to continue having an open dialogue with Dunbar and making sure the two of them are on the same page moving forward.
"I do understand his point of view," Rivera said. "It's something just he and I need to continue to talk about. He is a quality player in this league and he's a solid football player."
Since taking over as the Redskins head coach in early January, Rivera has preached identifying which of his players will be part of the team's core. Dunbar, who emerged as a quality cornerback a season ago, could certainly fit that bill.
Dunbar led Washington with four interceptions in 2019 and finished the No. 2 ranked cornerback by Pro Football Focus. Injuries are a concern; he's missed 14 games over the past two seasons, but he's been very productive when on the field. The once wide receiver turned cornerback is due for a bigger payday, one he's certainly earned.
Rivera said Dunbar is certainly a player that could be a core guy for Washington, but admitted he's still evaluating everyone through the first few months he's been on the job.
"I think he's a guy that most certainly [could be a core guy]," Rivera said. "The thing is that I hope everyone understands, I don't know this group of guys. I really don't. You've got to be able to go out there and assess the talent. Whether they fit what you want to fit. At the end of the day, I think everyone has to understand that, come together and show everybody whether you fit or not."
Whether Dunbar remains with Washington for the long haul is unclear, but the 58-year-old head coach is going to make him prove himself to the new regime.
"I'm going to sit down with him and explain to him where I see you, and that I would love for you to come out and show me," Rivera said. "That's what I would like to do."
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