After a decade in Cincinnati, Carlos Dunlap II knew that if he was ever going to switch teams, he wanted that move to take place because he was going to a contender that needed his help.
A trade to the NFC West-leading Seahawks, a team that had only nine sacks through the six games prior to making the move, provides just that opportunity for the two-time Pro-Bowl defensive end. After being acquired last week in a trade and going through the necessary COVID-19 testing protocol, Dunlap was on the practice field Wednesday for the first time with his new team.
"It's a win-win situation," Dunlap said. "At this point in my career, if I were to ever put play and put on another jersey, I wanted to go to an organization where I was the last piece to help them win and get a Super Bowl."
Dunlap called Seattle's defense "a great fit" for the way he plays, and likes the "Leo" defensive end role Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told him he'll play.
"I feel like it's a great fit," he said. "These guys fly around. I've been an edge defender my whole career, I've been left end, been right end, been in the 4-3 style, and this is what we're doing here. I'm being asked to do what I've done my best football doing, so it's a win-win situation for me. I don't know how to explain it in any clearer terms, but this is definitely a win-win situation for me. I'm excited, excited and fired up to do what I do. With all the banners that they got up in here, they're used to being in the big games and being on the better side of the big games, and I want to compete with those guys and help them win those big games, whatever it takes."
Carroll said that despite being new to the team, there shouldn't be any limitations on how they can use Dunlap for this week's game in Buffalo, and linebacker Bobby Wagner said the veteran end already knew what he was doing when he took the field for Wednesday morning's walk thru.
"We've just got to get him acclimated, but he's a pro," Wagner said. "We came out in the walk thru and he already was studying plays, he already knows everything, and me and K.J. (Wright) will help him out on the field, so he'll be fine."
Dunlap already put together a great career in his 10-plus seasons with the Bengals, recording 82.5 sacks in 155 career games, but he sees this trade as a chance to write a new chapter in his career, one he hopes can end with him helping the Seahawks to postseason success.
"I'm revived, refresh, and I've got an opportunity to reset and write this chapter," he said. "So I have full confidence in grabbing the pen and writing it exactly how I want to, and looking forward to this first start on Sunday of putting those first words the first paragraph down, and the Seahawks have given me a golden pen."
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 8 game vs. the San Francisco 49ers. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.