Carlos Dunlap hasn’t needed much time adjusting to the Seattle Seahawks.
Dunlap, a veteran pass-rusher and one of the top active sacks leaders, joined the Seahawks midway through the 2020 season. Although he has only played in three games for Pete Carroll’s team so far, Dunlap is proving the Seattle Seahawks correct in their investment.
Seattle acquired Carlos Dunlap at the trade deadline
Since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2010, Carlos Dunlap has been among the NFL’s top sack artists.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Dunlap totaled 82.5 sacks across 10-plus seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dunlap broke out with 9.5 sacks as a rookie and had five more seasons with at least eight sacks. That included a 13.5-sack season in 2015, the first time Dunlap reached the Pro Bowl.
Dunlap only has half-a-sack in five career playoff games, though.
On October 29, however, Cincinnati traded Dunlap to the Seattle Seahawks for center B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick in next year’s draft.
Dunlap has been a major boost to Seattle’s defense
Carlos Dunlap currently ranks ninth among active players in sacks.
Through play on Nov. 19, 2020, Dunlap had 86 career sacks. Von Miller, who is out for the season, leads active players with 106 sacks.
Of Dunlap’s 86 career sacks, three have come since he joined the Seattle Seahawks. Dunlap had two sacks, including the game-clinching takedown of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, in a Week 11 victory.
Dunlap’s arrival has been a significant boost to the Seahawks’ trenches. Although the team’s secondary continues to struggle and will likely require major changes in the offseason, Dunlap is pressuring quarterbacks and bringing the heat.
At 7-3, Seattle has a chance to win the NFC West Division for the first time since 2016. Seattle won the NFC West five times in seven years from 2010-16.
Carlos Dunlap is excelling at his ‘one job’
Carlos Dunlap is still going strong as he approaches age 32.
Dunlap is 31 through the rest of this season, and he is set to hit free agency after next year. Seattle would be wise to restructure Dunlap’s contract next spring, as he is due over $10 million in base salary.
Given Dunlap’s play and fit in Seattle, the Seahawks may want to keep him around. Dunlap has brought energy and charisma to a Seahawks defense in need of another veteran leader who, along with All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, can turn things around.
Dunlap is fully aware of his place on the Seahawks. According to the Seattle Times, Dunlap said his game-winning sack fit what the Seahawks needed from him all along.
“They brought me here to do one job, and I was happy I was able to get it done,” Dunlap said.
Seattle plays at the struggling Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football in Week 12. The Seahawks do not play another team with a winning record until hosting the Los Angeles Rams on December 27, a game that could decide the NFC West Division.