Seahawks trade for veteran Bengals pass rusher Carlos Dunlap

Oct 28, 2020, 9:26 AM | Updated: 3:27 pm

Seahawks Carlos Dunlap...

Carlos Dunlap joins the Seahawks' defense, which has struggled with its pass rush. (Getty)


The Seahawks are getting their pass-rush help in the form of a trade for two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

710 reaction to Seahawks’ tradeHeaps: What Dunlap brings to the table

Seattle sends offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for Dunlap.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the deal was in the works on Wednesday morning. The Bengals confirmed the trade in the afternoon.

The 31-year-old Dunlap, a second-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2010 out of Florida, made the Pro Bowl in both 2015 and 2016. He has 82.5 career sacks, including at least 7.5 in each of the past seven seasons, but has just one sack in seven games (four starts) this season.

The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Dunlap was known to be unhappy with a diminished role in a pass-rush rotation this season with the Bengals, going so far as to tweet that his house in the Cincinnati area was for sale after a loss to the Browns on Sunday.

Pass rush has been a problem for multiple seasons now in Seattle. The Seahawks had just 28 sacks in 2019, which tied for second-fewest in the NFL, and they are on pace for even less (24) this year with just nine sacks through six games in 2020. One sign of how bad it’s been: Jamal Adams, who plays safety, is tied for the team lead with two sacks this season, and he hasn’t played since Week 3 due to a groin injury.

Finney, meanwhile, was a free-agent signing that didn’t seem to be a fit with Seattle. He has not played a single offensive snap for the Seahawks since signing with the team on a two-year, $7.5 million deal in the offseason. He was expected to be the pick to be the starting center after coming to Seattle from Pittsburgh but lost the battle for the position in training camp to Ethan Pocic.

Including Finney in the deal helps Seattle in two ways. First, the Seahawks get to move on from a signing that didn’t pan out like they were hoping. And second, it clears up needed salary cap space to bring in Dunlap, who carries a cap hit of nearly $4.9 million this year (per Spotrac).

While Dunlap may officially be a member of the Seahawks, it would be at least another week until he could make his debut for Seattle due to the NFL’s COVID-19 intake testing protocols.

Here’s a look at Dunlap from’s Brandon Gustafson’s piece about potential trade targets for the Seahawks’ pass rush that was published on Tuesday:

Dunlap, 31, has one sack this year and has played fewer and fewer snaps as the weeks have gone on. He’s also been vocal about wanting out of Cincinnati, which has a young, rebuilding team.

Dunlap has 82.5 career sacks, including nine last season. The issue with the veteran defensive end is his contract, as he is signed through 2021 and has a base salary of $10.5 million next year (the deal is worth up to $13.5 million).

The Seahawks can make that work for next year, but it may be tricky to get Dunlap on board this season with the Seahawks having just over $3 million available in cap space, per OverTheCap.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Seahawks Football 101: Promising plays by top pick Jordyn Brooks

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Tre Brown Cincinnati Bengals 2023...

Cameron Van Til

Why it’s a make-or-break year for Seahawks CB Tre Brown

Brock and Salk discuss Seattle Seahawks fourth-year cornerback Tre Brown and why it's such a pivotal year for the former fourth-round pick.

7 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams Arizona Cardinals 2023...

Cameron Van Til

Report: Former Seahawks safety Jamal Adams signing with Titans

Former Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is reportedly signing with the Tennessee Titans, ending speculation that he could return to Seattle.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks Zach Charbonnet San Francisco 49ers 2023...

Cameron Van Til

Could Zach Charbonnet push for Seahawks’ starting RB role?

Brock and Salk discuss whether Zach Charbonnet could challenge Kenneth Walker III for the Seattle Seahawks' starting running back job.

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Scott Huff UW Huskies 2021...

Cameron Van Til

Big Ray: What stands out about Seahawks’ new OL coach

Former NFL offensive lineman Ray Roberts explains how new Seattle Seahawks O-line coach Scott Huff is instilling a high attention to detail.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks draft Tyrice Knight...

Cameron Van Til

How big a role will rookie linebacker have for Seahawks?

Brock and Salk discuss expectations for fourth-round LB Tyrice Knight, who is No. 25 on their annual list of most intriguing Seattle Seahawks.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Olu Oluwatimi center Arizona Cardinals 2023...

Cameron Van Til

Why Seahawks’ interior O-line is so crucial to success

The interior O-line may be the Seattle Seahawks' biggest unknown. Big Ray Roberts details why the position group is particularly vital for this team.

8 days ago

Seahawks trade for veteran Bengals pass rusher Carlos Dunlap