The Seahawks released Carlos Dunlap II earlier this month hoping they might be able to bring him back, and they were able to make that happen, signing the veteran defensive end to a multi-year deal four weeks after he was released.
The Seahawks added Dunlap midway through last season in a trade with Cincinnati, and at the time Dunlap, whose contract ran through 2021, agreed to restructure his deal to lower his 2020 cap hit and help facilitate the trade, with the understanding that he would get a chance to test free agency if he and the Seahawks couldn't agree to a contract extension this offseason.
But after testing the free-agent waters, Dunlap decided to return to Seattle to chase the two goals he highlighted when he joined the Seahawks: reaching the Super Bowl and 100 career sacks. Dunlap currently has 87.5 career sacks in 11 seasons, including five in eight games with Seattle last season.
"I'd love to stay in Seattle as long as they'll have me," Dunlap said at the end of the season. "… I feel like I've got a lot of ball left, and I would like to finish up with an organization like this. My two goals are still Super Bowl and 100 sacks, and I have not accomplished either one of them, and I haven't won a playoff game. I think we have the pedigree here to do that next season, and I would love to be a part of it."
A two-time Pro-Bowler, Dunlap spent the first 10-plus seasons of his career in Cincinnati before the Seahawks acquired him in a trade that sent a seventh-round pick and offensive lineman B.J. Finney to the Bengals. Dunlap's arrival in Seattle helped spark a second-half turnaround for the Seahawks defense, and for the pass rush in particular, with the Seahawks recording 12 sacks in their first seven games prior to Dunlap's arrival, and 34 over the final nine games of the season.
Dunlap's half a season with the Seahawks produced not just five sacks, but two in the final minutes of games that effectively ended opponents' final drives in a pair of close victories, and he also recorded six tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits.
Dunlap is the third veteran pass-rusher the Seahawks have signed this month, joining Kerry Hyder Jr., who last season led the 49ers with 8.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits, and Benson Mayowa, who had 6.0 sacks last season. Those three, along with returning ends like L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor could give the Seahawks the deepest pass-rush rotation they've had in years.
A look back at defensive end Carlos Dunlap II's first 11 seasons in the NFL. Dunlap signed a multi-year deal to return to the Seahawks on Tuesday. Read more: https://shwks.com/c8qsuh