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Carlos Dunlap Reflects on Break Up With Bengals, Disconnect With Coaching Staff

The Bengals traded Dunlap to the Seahawks in October

Carlos Dunlap spent the first 10+ seasons of his NFL career in Cincinnati. The former second-round pick is one of the best pass rushers in Bengals history. 

Unfortunately for him and the team, the relationship had an ugly ending. The Bengals traded a disgruntled Dunlap to Seattle in October. They received backup center B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick in the deal. 

It was pennies on the dollar for a player that had been one of the most productive players in team history during his first 10 seasons. Unfortunately, Dunlap and the Bengals' coaching staff didn't see eye-to-eye on his role with the team. 

"I had a million and one fans asking me why I wasn't playing and this, that and the third," Dunlap told Zach Gelb on CBS Sports Radio when asked about his final weeks in Cincinnati. "One of my friends made me aware of an article that just came out where the coaches said I was frustrated and not handling the demotion and/or new role properly, and I just wanted to give people a clear picture of what they were asking me to do. I don't think they [people] understood how low I was on the depth chart." 

Dunlap infamously posted a picture of the Bengals' depth chart before their Week 7 matchup against the Browns. It didn't list the entire team, but it did prove that the two-time Pro Bowler was third on Cincinnati's defensive end depth chart.

"Obviously it had a negative impact with the team," Dunlap said. "They expressed their frustrations with it."

His frustration is clearly with the coaching staff. Dunlap praised the organization and the front office. 

"Obviously it's not the way I would have liked to go about things, but there's a lot of love and respect still for Cincinnati. And the front office team, they still communicate and reach out from time to time," Dunlap said. "I always think I'll be welcome back one day in like the ring of honor or whatever it is that they might invite me for, possibly for holding the records. Obviously, I'm still a Bengals fan until I play them and I support my guys on the team."

Gelb followed up by asking Dunlap if Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo are the right coaches to build a winner in Cincinnati.

"I can't answer that question," he said. "I just know that they're committed to whatever their vision is, and it's clear that i was not one of those pieces. And it seems like A.J. (Green) and Geno's (Atkins) time is coming, too. I guess it's a changing of the guard. They want new faces."

The Bengals are expected to part ways with Geno Atkins this offseason, unless he's willing to take a drastic pay cut. A.J. Green will be a free agent and likely has his eyes on a Super Bowl contender. 

Listen to Gelb's entire interview with Dunlap below. 


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