The Seattle Seahawks badly needed a boost to their puss rush. They’re hoping Carlos Dunlap will be able to provide it.
Seattle acquired Dunlap from the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday in exchange for interior offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.
“We’re always looking,” head coach Pete Carroll said of the trade. “There’s other guys that were out there that we’ve been looking at as well in all spots that are available. The names start to pop up here this time of the year, so this was one that fit exactly what we needed and really pleased to get it done. Glad to bring a guy of Carlos’ stature and background to this club.”
The Seahawks’ pass rush has been anemic all season with just nine sacks in six games played. They didn’t get a single sack or hit on Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray in Sunday night’s loss to the Cardinals either. Jamal Adams, a safety who has missed the team’s last three games due to injury, is tied with Benson Mayowa for the team-lead in sacks with two.
Dunlap is coming off a nine-sack year in 2019 for the Bengals, which would have served as the team-high for Seattle a season ago as well. His playing time has gradually been reduced by Cincinnati with him seeing the field for just 12 defensive snaps against the Cleveland Browns last weekend. But Dunlap helps give the team an edge player they’re lacking since Bruce Irvin was lost to torn ACL in Week 2 and will help lower the workload on the rest of the rushers.
“Carlos has been a very, very consistent player for a long time,” Carroll said. “He’s always been fast, always been athletic. He still moves his feet well and gets off the rock and knows exactly how to play the spot that we want to play him in. Really I was excited to share that with him. He was concerned. He didn’t know how we would play him and all. So that was good for him to hear.
“This is an outside guy, he’s classically what you’re looking for as an edge rusher. There’s always times you’re mixing schemes and you’re doing things to disguise stuff and all of that. He’s got the ability to (move inside) but that’s not what we’re bringing him here to do.”
Dunlap had expressed frustration with his circumstances in Cincinnati. In an instagram video after the trade, Dunlap expressed excitement that he will get to play again more regularly in Seattle.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous as hell but I’m excited as f— too,” Dunlap said. “It’s all up from here. It’s all up from here. Let’s go. I get to play. Above all, I get to play!”
The Seahawks are allowing 479.2 yards per game through six games this season. That’s nearly 50 yards a game more than the second-worst team in the league. Carroll said it’s a fresh start for Dunlap in Seattle as they try to patch their most glaring issue heading into the second half of the season.
“I’ve talked to him,” he said. “He’s really excited about being part of our program and getting him in here. … He’s been a stellar dude for a long time in that program and whatever happened happened, but it’s a fresh start for him here.”