Despite having conversations with the Seahawks during free agency, Quinton Dunbar will not be returning to the team for a second season.
According to his agency Elite Loyalty Sports, Dunbar has agreed to terms with the Lions on a one-year contract. Per the NFL's transactions wire, he visited the team on Monday and reportedly had another visit lined up with Arizona, but Detroit ensured he didn't leave unsigned and the two sides reached an agreement quickly.
Dunbar, 29, joined the Seahawks after being acquired from the Washington Football Team in exchange for a fifth-round pick in March 2020. Coming off a sensational 2019 season, the former Florida standout was expected to provide an immediate upgrade over incumbent starter Tre Flowers at right cornerback.
However, Dunbar was arrested on May 14 for his alleged involvement in an armed robbery case in Miramar, Florida. Though charges were eventually dismissed, he spent time on the commissioner's exempt list and wasn't in top shape when he was cleared to participate in training camp practices in mid-August.
Still, Dunbar managed to win a starting spot over Flowers heading into Seattle's season opener in Atlanta, producing five tackles and a pass deflection in a 38-25 victory. The next week, he recorded an interception against Patriots quarterback Cam Newton as the Seahawks escaped with a 35-31 win.
Unfortunately, Dunbar injured his knee during the contest and did not play in the next two games. Upon his return to the lineup, he was clearly playing at less than 100 percent and struggled mightily in a 44-34 loss to the Bills in Week 9, leading the Seahawks to place him on injured reserve.
Three weeks later, Dunbar attempted to return again, but he wasn't able to turn the corner enough to activate the 53-man roster and eventually underwent season-ending surgery. Ending his third consecutive season on injured reserve, he finished with 28 tackles, five passes defensed, and an interception in six games.
Following a 30-20 wild card loss to the Los Angeles Rams in January, coach Pete Carroll indicated the Seahawks would have interest in re-signing Dunbar after off-field issues and injuries prevented him from showing what he could do last season. Per the player's Instagram account, the team had been in talks with him about re-signing.
Instead, the Seattle will now roll into the 2021 season without either of its projected starting cornerbacks from last September. The team already lost Shaquill Griffin to Jacksonville earlier in free agency and after Dunbar's departure, D.J. Reed. recently-signed Akhello Witherspoon, and Flowers remain the only cornerbacks on the roster with extensive starting experience playing on the outside.
Moving forward, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported former All-Pro Richard Sherman and the Seahawks would be "open" to a reunion. With Dunbar now gone and Sherman still unsigned, the odds of that happening may go up slightly, while the team may also choose to sit pat and wait until the draft to add another player at the position to compete against Reed, Witherspoon, and Flowers.