Look, when you want something done, you come to me. You tell me to write about the Seahawks, and how they need to trade for defensive end/pass rush help, you get me to talk about our abysmal salary cap situation, and minutes later we not only find a potential solution to our woes, but we flip a cap burden in the process! Call me Red from The Shawshank Redemption, because I’m a man who knows how to get things!
I mean, sure, the Seahawks’ front office played a small part in all this as well, making the deal and whatnot, but you can’t say definitively that I WASN’T the impetus for all of this being set in motion!
So, here’s the deal: the Seahawks get Carlos Dunlap. The Cincinnati Bengals get B.J. Finney and a 7th round draft pick next year. B.J. Finney, you may recall, was a free agent signing by the Seahawks prior to this season – 2 years, $8 million – and he was supposed to be our starting center. He was beaten out by Ethan Pocic and has yet to play. What appeared to be a vast over-pay for a backup interior offensive lineman has turned into salary cap relief going off the books. Ehh, it’s better than nothing.
Dunlap, meanwhile, is in his 11th season in the NFL. He has 82.5 career sacks. Granted, he has 1 sack this season, but I mean, beggars can’t be choosers. I don’t know what he has left in the tank, but it’s GOT to be more than what we have now. He had 9 sacks a season ago, that would’ve been double our best sacker. He’s pretty steadily averaged about 7.5 sacks per season, which would just be a GODSEND for this team right now!
Of course, it’s too soon to get him on the field this week, what with COVID protocols. But, for starters, that gives the rest of the guys on our team one final chance to make an impression, and then it’s Go Time.
I’m not sure exactly what we owe him for the rest of this season; it’s either around $4.5 million, or the pro-rated portion of that over our remaining 10 games. With the offset of Finney’s contract, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make the money work.
The interesting factor is Dunlap’s 2021 money. None of it is guaranteed, I believe (assuming he avoids injury), so this could be a one-year rental for a very low cost. Or, if he performs, we could bring him back – as a 32 year old – for a little over $11 million. Seems like a hefty pricetag, buuuuuut, you never say never. If he simply plays to his career numbers – and we get another 7 sacks out of him over the rest of the season – maybe we find room for him. Or, maybe we try to re-work his contract to a more team-friendly multi-year deal. In that case, you’d assume he hasn’t lost a step at all, will be super-motivated to now FINALLY be playing on a winning team – and is one of these guys who plays well into his mid-30’s.
One thing that stands out with Dunlap is consistency. His season-low in sacks was 4.5 in his second year; his season-low in games played was 12, each in his first two years. Starting in 2013, he’s played in all 16 games all but one time, last year (when he played 14). The point is: there isn’t an extensive injury history with this guy. Now, I could have very well just put the whammy on him, but I find these types of older guys much more encouraging than guys who have dealt with a lot of aches and pains and missed games.
The bottom line, though, is we should probably not expect him to be a savior. This isn’t Jadeveon Clowney in his prime; this is an aging vet who should nevertheless be a better defensive end than literally anyone else on our roster. So, not Jesus H. Christ, but you know, maybe his second cousin or something.