Dunlap has been a very good football player for 11 seasons. He had a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2015 and has been consistently above 7.5 a season since. In 2020, he might have reached that number again but played sparingly with the Bengals before Cincinnati traded him to the Seahawks after week 7.
In Dunlap’s first four games with Seattle, he had 4 sacks. But in his final four games, Dunlap had just 1 sack. He had 9 quarterback hits in his first four games with Seattle and then 5 in his final four games.
There are a couple of questions that could be asked about Dunlap heading into 2021 after Seattle re-signed him this offseason to a two-year deal. One is whether that early production with Seattle can be chalked up to Dunlap being extremely motivated to do well after seeming to be dismissed by the Bengals.
The second question is how Dunlap’s health will hold up going into his age-32 season. Yes, he has been healthy for the most part of his career but in 2020 Dunlap struggled with a foot injury. This kind of injury can nag a player for several seasons so a somewhat diminished Dunlap because of a foot problem would also likely equate to a less productive Dunlap.
Also, if the Aldon Smith situation doesn’t work itself out then Dunlap likely won’t be able to rest as much as expected this year. More snaps for an aging edge rusher could not mean good things late in the season with Seattle hopefully still battling for a playoff spot. Maybe Dunlap is a very good player again this year but regression is coming at some point.