Seahawks Trade for Bengals' All-Time Sacks Leader Carlos Dunlap
The dent in Seattle's armor for the better part of two seasons has been the pass rush, or lack thereof. Last season, they traded for Jadeveon Clowney ahead of the 2019 season and saw lackluster results with just 28.0 sacks as a team.
This offseason, in an attempt to address the issue, they signed veterans Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, but the former went down soon after the season started with a torn ACL injury. Mayowa has had flashes but has not collected the sacks he should given his pressure numbers. Seattle also drafted Darrell Taylor in the second round, but he has yet to even practice coming off leg surgery.
As a result, so far this season, the Seahawks have just 9.0 sacks in six games, on pace for just 24.0 sacks as the team's greatest weaknesses glares even brighter with poor defensive play all around.
Now, the Seahawks finally addressed the need once again, swinging a trade with the Bengals for two-time Pro Bowler Carlos Dunlap. The Florida product is under contract through the 2021 season.
The move to land Dunlap gives Seattle another veteran pass rusher that they desperately need. He's Cincinnati's all-time franchise sack leader with 82.5 sacks over 11 seasons. He earned back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2015 and 2016, first with 13.5 sacks in 2015 and 8.0 sacks with 15 pass deflections in 2016.
Last year, Dunlap had 9.0 sacks, which is more than twice what Seattle's sack leader Rasheem Green had. He also earned a glowing review from Pro Football Focus with an 89.7 grade. This season, he has been a bit quieter, with just a single sack and four quarterback hits and a meager 53.9 grade. However, it was clear he was ready for a change of scenery.
The 31-year old Dunlap has one of the most reliable track records among pass rushers in the NFL. Since 2013, he has only missed two games and collected at least 7.5 sacks in every one of those eight seasons.
In exchange for Dunlap's services, the Seahawks reportedly are sending a seventh-round pick and offensive lineman B.J. Finney to the Bengals.
In any case, Seattle gets a Pro Bowl pass rusher who is not just a one-trick pony. He also has an 86.3 run defense grade from Pro Football Focus since 2010, which is also desperately needed along Seattle's defensive line.
Now the Seahawks have someone who can take the heat away from Mayowa rushing the passer and perhaps open up some lanes in the middle of Jarran Reed and Poona Ford as well. A proven veteran like Dunlap can only boost Seattle's chances to win the NFC West and reach the Super Bowl.
During a week that saw the Seahawks lose their first game due to the defense crumbling and untimely turnovers, this trade comes as a welcome beacon of hope Seattle can right the ship quickly on defense and achieve their lofty goals.