The Seahawks released defensive end Carlos Dunlap II on Monday, a move that will allow one of their top pass rushers in 2020 to test the free agency market.
Dunlap, an 11-year veteran, was acquired in a midseason trade with Cincinnati, and in eight games he contributed 5.0 sacks, six tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits while helping spark a second-half turnaround for Seattle's pass rush.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in his end-of-season press conference that he wants to keep last year's pass-rush group intact, saying he was "counting on Carlos to be a part of it," and while Monday's move makes Dunlap a free agent, the door is very much still open for a return in 2021. Dunlap agreed to restructure his contract last year in order to facilitate the trade with the understanding that he would get to test free agency if he and the Seahawks couldn't agree to a contract extension.
Free agency begins next week with the start of the new league year, but Dunlap's release means he can negotiate with teams immediately.