Carlos Dunlap is one of the Bengals’ longest-tenured players (only punter Kevin Huber and long snapper Clark Harris have been in Cincinnati longer) and if he gets his way he’ll be out of town very soon.
Dunlap, a two-time Pro Bowler who has averaged more than eight sacks per season in his first 10 years in the league, has seen his playing time diminish in recent weeks and he’s fed up. With the NFL trade deadline approaching next week, Dunlap isn’t just requesting to be dealt, he’s trying to force the Bengals’ hand.
On Saturday, he posted a “Bengals Depth Chart Update” on Instagram, showing his number listed as third string on the white board in a meeting room and saying he didn’t have time for head coach Zac Taylor and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s “experiment.” (He later deleted the post.)
It might not seem like it’s worth the potential distraction of having to deal with a disgruntled third-string defensive end on game day, but the Bengals kept Dunlap active for Sunday’s game against the Browns.
Dunlap played just 12 snaps in the 37–34 loss, his third straight week seeing action on less than half of the Cincinnati defense’s plays, and wasn’t shy about venting his frustration. In the closing seconds of the game, Dunlap was seen on the sidelines engaged in a heated altercation with his defensive line coach.
After the game, Dunlap made it clear he’s done with Cincy, listing his house for sale in a since-deleted tweet.
He also posted something similar on Instagram and Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd hopped into the comments to tell Dunlap the post was “sucka s---.” Boyd also took issue with Dunlap’s sideline blowup.
Dunlap isn’t the only Bengals player hoping to be dealt. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins, who, like Dunlap, is in his 11th season with Cincinnati, also wants out, Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reports. A.J. Green and William Jackson “would be very open to a change of scenery,” according to LaCanfora.
The NFL trade deadline isn’t typically all that active, so it would be shocking if all four of those players got dealt. Dunlap, though, has to be moved at this point. Teammates are as fed up with his actions as he is with the coaching staff. By causing such a big stink, he’s totally cratered his draft value, which is bad news for the Bengals. Maybe the lower price tag will make it easier to find a trade partner, or maybe teams will be worried he could pull a similar stunt on them. We’ll find out by Nov. 3.
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