Seahawks CB Quinton Dunbar placed on Commissioner’s Exempt List
As the Seahawks prepare to begin training camp this week, they will be without a presumed defensive starter during games and practices as cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who Seattle acquired from Washington for a fifth-round pick this offseason, has reportedly been placed on the NFL’s Commissioner’s Exempt List. New York Daily News reporter Pat Leonard was among the first with the report and the Seahawks later confirmed that Dunbar is on that list.
Dunbar’s placement on that list stems from his alleged involvement in an armed robbery in Florida in May.
Statement by an NFL Spokesperson: pic.twitter.com/Sc32yqOsIx
— Seahawks PR (@seahawksPR) July 27, 2020
He is accused of robbing a party at gunpoint along with New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and another individual. A warrant was issued for Dunbar’s arrest, and he turned himself into police custody a few days later. He is charged with four counts of armed robbery and was released on a $100,000 bond and was later given clearance from the court system to travel to Washington state for training camp.
The story has taken quite a few turns since the news broke that Dunbar was wanted, as his former lawyer, Michael Grieco, told reporters that he had signed statements from the alleged victims stating that Dunbar had no involvement in any such robbery despite them telling police the opposite previously. The lawyer alleged that Dunbar didn’t do anything illegal and that if the robbery did happen, Dunbar wasn’t involved or wasn’t even present.
But, a New York Daily News report stated in part that a warrant alleged that the alleged victims and witness who gave the statements to Grieco were paid to change their statements. The alleged payment was made at Grieco’s office, the warrant said.
“All four victims have given sworn statements that they were paid at the office that day to recant their sworn initial statements against Dunbar by signing affidavits. Combined, the four men say they were paid a total of $55,000,” the story reported.
Soon after, Grieco and another lawyer that Dunbar added to his legal team withdrew from the legal proceedings. Grieco is now being investigated by the Florida Bar Association for allegedly paying off the victims.
Dunbar, 28, is now essentially on paid leave while he is on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, and he is not allowed to play or practice until they are removed from the list, which may not happen until an NFL investigation takes place and is concluded, which could result in a suspension. He is, however, allowed to participate in some activities at the team’s facility if both he and the club agree to it, such as treatment and team meetings. For a good description of what being on that list entails, see this story from NBC Sports.
Dunbar will now miss practice time, and it is unclear whether or not he will be suspended by either the NFL or Seahawks. He was acquired from Washington to challenge incumbent outside cornerback Tre Flowers for the second cornerback position opposite Shaquill Griffin, a 2019 Pro Bowler. But Seattle Times Seahawks reporter Bob Condotta said that Dunbar’s newest attorney, Andrew Rier, said he and Dubar will file an appeal of the league’s move to place him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.
Dunbar was Pro Football Focus’ second-rated cornerback in 2019 and after the Seahawks traded for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, it was thought that Adams, Dunbar, Griffin and safety Quandre Diggs could challenge for the title of the best secondary in football. For now, it would seem that Flowers will remain the starter while Dunbar is out.
710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton has noted that because of COVID-19, court cases in Florida are very backed up and that Dunbar’s day in court may not come for over a year. Regardless of whether or not he is tried and found guilty or not guilty, the Seahawks or the NFL could suspend Dunbar for violating league or team policy, though there hasn’t been any report of that happening any time soon.