Does Acquiring Redskins CB Quinton Dunbar Make Sense for Lions?

Logan Lamorandier

Lions cornerback Darius Slay isn't the only cornerback in the NFL that wants a new contract. 

The Washington Redskins have an up-and-coming corner in Quinton Dunbar who also is going into the final year of his deal and is unhappy with his current compensation. 

With negotiations on an extension currently on the backburner for Dunbar, he is adamant about being released or traded. 

Who knows if the Redskins will actually acquiesce to his demands, though. 

Washington held strong in its battle with left tackle Trent Williams, which ultimately ended in Williams not playing a single game the entire 2019 season.

Now, Slay isn't forcing his way out of Detroit as of yet. 

However, Lions general manager Bob Quinn has admitted to taking calls on the Pro Bowl corner. 

Whether Slay is around or not in 2020, the Lions still need to address the cornerback position, and Dunbar would be a solid addition.

There is a lot of factors to discuss in this scenario. 

First, what type of player is Dunbar? 

As an undrafted free agent in 2015 out of Florida, he was converted into a corner during his first training camp after playing receiver in college. 

One aspect that the Redskins' coaching staff really liked about Dunbar's game was his ability to successfully jam punt gunners on special teams -- something that can be effectively transferred over to playing man-press coverage. 

One of the big reasons ex-Redskins corner Josh Norman had so many struggles in Washington was due to his alignment. 

The coaches frequently lined him up in man-press, instead of in off-man and zone coverages -- where his strengths were better suited.  

Ultimately, Dunbar became the Redskins' top corner last year, which left Norman on the bench and made him expendable.

Standing at 6-foot-2, the 27-year-old Dunbar has quite a nice athletic profile for the corner position in the Lions' defensive scheme. 

Boasting a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, Dunbar has developed nicely. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Dunbar had both the second-highest overall grade and second-highest coverage grade at the cornerback position in 2019 (minimum of 20 percent of snaps played). 

With four interceptions -- including one in Week 12 against the Lions -- and the seventh-best passer rating allowed last year, you can understand why Dunbar is looking for a pay raise.

Now, there is some concern that Dunbar could have been just a one-year wonder. 

Having played in five NFL seasons, last year was his first as a full-time starter. 

In his first four seasons in the NFL, he started a total of 14 games. 

In 2019, he started in all 11 games he played -- missing five games due to separate knee and hamstring injuries.

In order for the Lions to facilitate a deal for Dunbar, the Lions would almost assuredly have to simultaneously agree on a trade with the Redskins and agree on a new contract with Dunbar. 

Not exactly an easy scenario, but not impossible, either. 

The Redskins would likely demand at least a mid-round pick, which is relatively cheap if Dunbar can continue his 2019 play. 

In terms of his contract extension, that's where things might get tricky. 

How much do you pay a player that has really only had one highly successful season?

One quick side note: If the Redskins lose Dunbar, that cornerback room in Washington is going to be bare. 

Complete speculation, but would the Redskins -- which hold the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft -- be a little more willing to trade back with a quarterback-needy team in the draft, like the Miami Dolphins, to grab Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah? 

In that case, the coveted passer rusher Chase Young would fall into Detroit's lap at No. 3.

At this point, there is no indication of the Redskins shopping Dunbar or of the Lions showing interest in acquiring his services. 

But, at the very least, the Lions should inquire about the ascending defensive back.


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