Carlos Dunlap wanted to play more and wasn’t getting that chance with the Cincinnati Bengals. So he made it clear he no longer wanted to play for the Bengals any longer after a decade with the team.
After a trade to the Seattle Seahawks last week, the former Pro Bowl defensive end is now finally able to practice with his new team and is set to make his debut Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
“My time clearly was up (in Cincinnati),” Dunlap said. “The coaches came to that conclusion and we had to do we had to do. That’s part of the business. Guys are dealt throughout the year and, obviously, no longer because the trade deadline’s up, but for me it was just an opportunity to get a fresh start, to go to a team and an organization that wanted me, clearly, by the move that they made.”
Dunlap played just 12 snaps in Cincinnati’s Week 7 game against the Cleveland Browns. He had a disagreement with an assistant coach on the sidelines during the game and took to Twitter to put his Cincinnati residence up for sale as an indication of his displeasure with his circumstances with the Bengals. He was then traded to Seattle in exchange for interior offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.
Dunlap now gets to join a team leading its division and desperately hopes their newest acquisition can help their struggling pass rush. He had to complete the six-day testing intake procedure before being able to enter the team’s facility for the first time on Tuesday.
“I feel like it’s a great fit,” Dunlap said. “I mean these guys fly around. I’ve been an edge defender my whole career. Been left end, been right end, been in the 4-3 style and this is what we’re doing here. I’m being asked to do what I’ve done my best football doing so it’s a win-win situation for me. I don’t know how to explain it in any clear terms, but this is definitely a win-win situation for me.
“I’m excited, excited and fired up to do what I do. And then being on the other side, and clearly you know with all the banners that they got up in here, they’re used to being in the big games and being on the better side of the big games and I want to compete with those guys and help them win those big games whatever it takes.”
The Seahwaks have just 12 sacks this season, which ranks 24th in the league. Dunlap had nine sacks last season with Cincinnati, which was more than double the best output from a Seattle defender in 2019.
“Getting through our first walk-through, he handled everything right,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “I don’t see any restriction at all on him playing this week. We’ll find out during the week. Really excited to have him out here. He’s really pumped about being part of it.”