CINCINNATI — Former Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap forced his way out of Cincinnati earlier this season after spending more than a decade with the team.
The Bengals traded him to the Seahawks for a seventh-round pick and veteran center B.J. Finney.
Dunlap, 31, made it clear to the Bengals and to the rest of the league that he was unhappy prior to the trade. He did any and everything he could to force is way out.
He even considered retirement.
"Earlier this year, when things weren’t going so great in Cincy, I’ll be honest with you: I did some serious thinking on what I wanted to do with my career. Weighed all options," Dunlap wrote in The Player's Tribune. "I even gave some thought to retiring—I really did. I took out a notepad, and wrote down the pros and the cons of just walking away.
And I’m glad I did that….. because, sitting with those words and emotions? I learned something about myself. I learned how it would feel to retire. I learned how football being over would feel.
It felt wrong. Nah, I’d actually say it like this: It felt incomplete.
I wasn’t ready to be done."
Dunlap made the right decision. Not only did he get traded to Seattle, but he's also back in the playoffs and playing at a high level.
His midseason arrival has completely transformed the Seahawks' defense. He has five sacks, six tackles for loss and 14 quarterback hits in eight games since the trade.
The veteran loves the energy Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll brings every day. He's praised Carroll multiple times this season.
"One thing I’ve noticed, is how there’s this rhythm to everything we do in practice. There’s this rhythm to our prep, this consistent flow," Dunlap wrote. "It’s hard to explain, but it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before—and Coach (Carroll) is the heartbeat of that. But then what’s crazy, and I think what’s impressed me the most, is how there’s also these other heartbeats going along with Coach’s. There’s these other big-time leaders... There's an intensity here that's not normal."
Dunlap's Seahawks face off against Andrew Whitworth and the Rams today at 4:40 p.m. ET.