The Seattle Seahawks re-signed DE Carlos Dunlap last month after arriving from Cincinnati in a midseason trade and became a free agent when the season ended. Dunlap spoke to the Seattle media this week in a meet and regret session. According to Dunlap, the plan was always for him to become a free agent and then return to the Seahawks if the numbers made sense. Dunlap spoke to the Seattle media this week and discussed his motivation for re-signing with the Seahawks.
After his trade from the Bengals, Dunlap started six of eight games and recorded 14 quarterback hits and 5.0 sacks, two of which were game-ending sacks against Arizona and at Washington.
Dunlap’s impact helped the Seahawks record 34 sacks in the team’s final nine games compared to 12 in seven games before his arrival. Once he hit free agency Dunlap was always hoping to return to the Seahawks.
“After a week passed, a lot of people were signing and a lot of teams were signing their guys, and Seattle didn’t really sign that many guys in the first week, (then) they started signing guys,” Dunlap said. “So I was trying to gauge and feel, and we hadn’t gotten an offer, we hadn’t had strong conversations with Seattle at that point. So we started fielding and entertaining all the other teams that were interested in calling. And then Seattle called, and it was where I wanted to be.’’
RUSSELL WILSON ENCOURAGEMENT
Another reason that had Dunlap return to Seattle was assurance from quarterback Russell Wilson that he would be around despite rampant rumors to the contrary.
“I did ask him if, obviously, he was going to be with us, because if I’m coming back, I’m coming back because I see him as my quarterback,’’ Dunlap said during a Zoom interview with reporters on Tuesday. “And the rest of the team, I want to pick up where we left off. And he told me that he’s with us and he’s here to stay and he said, you know, ‘Let’s Go Hawks.’ And I’m not gonna quote his every word, or these words are not his words verbatim. But this is my explanation of how I interpreted what he said.’’
With Wilson’s assurance, Dunlap put pen to paper and agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $13.6 million and structured in a way that the contract cap hit for the 2021 season is just $2.9 million. There is a third voidable year on the back end of the two-year contract making it three years on paper but two in reality.