The Seattle Seahawks traded for Carlos Dunlap midseason in 2020 and he was good. But now he’s expensive in 2021 and Seattle might need to replace him. None of Dunlap’s contract next season is guaranteed. Seattle would save about $14 million if they released him. But should they? Maybe Seattle is better off with Dunlap who, while expensive, is also pretty good.
But Seattle has basically no cap space for next year. The salary cap has shrunk due to the effects of COVID-19 on the 2020 NFL season and lots of teams will be hurting to make it under the cap next year and Seattle is one of them. Dunlap might need to be a needed, albeit painful, salary cap casualty.
Seahawks could keep Carlos Dunlap but…
To be clear, I really hope that Seattle is able to keep, or simply decides to not release, Dunlap. He made the team better when he came over from the Bengals and he will make the team better in 2021. But money is money and lots of times decisions have to made about the bottom line and staying under the cap.
Carlos Dunlap also helped Jarran Reed be better and Reed was far better the second half of the year than he was prior to Dunlap’s trade. Reed needs someone to help take the focus off him and Dunlap does that. Would a rookie edge rusher do that? Unlikely.
Still, Dunlap could be released and likely could make more dollars elsewhere than to take a reduced salary with Seattle. So who could Seattle take to replace Dunlap? Based on where Seattle has draft picks currently, it could be one of the next five players.