Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primer: Carlos Dunlap

Acquiring Dunlap proved to be a game changer for the Seahawks, as his arrival helped transform a dormant pass rush into one of the NFL's best in the second half last season. After re-signing on a two-year deal, will the 12-year veteran make a similar impact for a bolstered defensive line?
Publish date:

With the calendar flipping to July and offseason programs recently wrapping up, NFL training camps will begin around the league in less than a month. To celebrate the new incoming season, we will be breaking down the Seahawks' 90-man roster over the next several weeks, exploring best and worst case scenarios and what to expect from each player entering the 2021 campaign.

Carlos Dunlap, Defensive End

Height/Weight: 6-foot-6, 285 pounds

2020 Stats: 32 tackles, 6.0 sacks, and 18 quarterback hits in 15 games

Disgruntled due to diminished playing time for a rebuilding Bengals franchise, Dunlap was dealt to the Seahawks shortly before the trade deadline in exchange for backup center B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick. After arriving in Seattle, the two-time Pro Bowler made an immediate impact, notching 1.5 sacks, six tackles and three quarterback hits in his debut against the Bills. He ended up with 5.0 sacks in eight games for the Seahawks, including a game-winning fourth down sack against the Cardinals in Week 11. But his contributions went beyond his own production. One of the league's worst pass rushes instantly became formidable due to his presence, as the Seahawks led the league in sacks over the final nine weeks of the regular season and other players around him stepped up their level of play. Due to a lowered salary cap, the organization initially cut him as a cap casualty before re-signing him on a two-year deal in March, positioning him to potentially finish his career in the Pacific Northwest.

Best Case Scenario: Picking up where he left off starring for a revitalized defensive line, Dunlap leads the team with 10.5 sacks, secures the third Pro Bowl selection of his career, and helps the Seahawks advance to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2014.

Worst Case Scenario: Beginning to show his age, Dunlap remains productive but isn't quite as effective as he was during the final two months of the 2020 season, eventually losing snaps to younger edge rushers such as Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson.

What to Expect in 2021: After rewarding him with a new two-year deal, the Seahawks believe Dunlap has plenty of fuel left in the tank and expect him to continue to be one of the featured members of their pass rushing attack. Now 32 years old, he shouldn't have to shoulder the load quite as much with Seattle bringing back Benson Mayowa and Robinson while adding a healthy Taylor and potentially Aldon Smith to the mix. All five of those players could see action at the LEO defensive end spot, allowing Seattle to keep everyone fresh. But Dunlap remains the starter and will receive the most snaps from the group. Even if his athleticism begins to diminish a bit in his 12th season, his impressive size, length, and power should allow him to remain productive rushing off the edge and defending the run.

Previous Seahawks 90-Man Roster Primers

Alex McGough | Darvin Kidsy | Greg Eiland | Joshua Moon | Cam Sutton | Walter Palmore | Jared Hocker | Brad Lundblade | Aashari Crosswell | Myles Adams | Jon Rhattigan | Aaron Fuller | Bryan Mills I Jake Curhan | Jarrod Hewitt | Connor Wedington | Nate Evans | Danny Etling | John Ursua | Gavin Heslop | Pier-Oliver Lestage | Tommy Champion | Cody Thompson | Josh Johnson | Saivion Smith | Jordan Miller | Aaron Donkor | Robert Nkemdiche | Alex Collins | Tyler Mabry | Damarious Randall | Cade Johnson | Cedrick Lattimore | Phil Haynes | Geno Smith | Kyle Fuller | Travis Homer | Tyler Ott | Rasheem Green | Ben Burr-Kirven | Penny Hart | Jamarco Jones | Aldon Smith | DeeJay Dallas | Nick Bellore | Stone Forsythe | Colby Parkinson | Al Woods | Cedric Ogbuehi | Alton Robinson | Jordan Simmons | Pierre Desir | Ryan Neal | Tre Flowers | Michael Dickson | Jason Myers | Freddie Swain | Cody Barton | Bryan Mone | Benson Mayowa | Rashaad Penny | Ugo Amadi | Ethan Pocic | Tre Brown | Darrell Taylor | Will Dissly | Ahkello Witherspoon | Kerry Hyder | Marquise Blair | Brandon Shell | D'Wayne Eskridge | L.J. Collier | Gerald Everett | D.J. Reed | Damien Lewis | Chris Carson | Jordyn Brooks | Poona Ford