Source: Bengals trade DE Dunlap to Seahawks

  • ESPN Staff Writer
  • Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
  • University of North Texas graduate

CINCINNATI — The Bengals’ all-time sack leader is on the move.

Veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but the move will become official after 4 p.m. Wednesday, the source said.

The trade ends a saga that spiraled past its breaking point Wednesday when the team asked Dunlap not to come to the team facilities as it sought a trading partner, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, confirming a report by NFL Network.

Dunlap, 31, had two years remaining on a contract extension that was set to expire at the end of the 2021 season. However, the likelihood of Dunlap finishing his career in Cincinnati diminished after the events of recent weeks.

The 2010 second-round draft pick had grown increasingly frustrated with his role in the Bengals’ defense and had come off the bench in the last three games. At the end of the team’s 37-34 loss to the visiting Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Dunlap went after defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo regarding his playcalling, according to a source.

The defensive end also posted a property listing minutes after the loss on social media in posts that were eventually deleted.

For the bulk of Dunlap’s 11-year tenure with the Bengals, he was one of the team’s most effective edge rushers. He tallied 82.5 sacks with Cincinnati and reached the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016. Between 2014 and 2018, Dunlap started every regular-season game.

However, a scheme change under new coach Zac Taylor altered Dunlap’s role within the defense. By the middle of Taylor’s second season, the situation had become untenable, which prompted the trade to Seattle.

Dunlap’s 2018 extension holds a $11 million salary cap hit this year and a $13.4 million hit in 2021. If Cincinnati had cut Dunlap next year, the Bengals would have saved $11.1 million against the cap.

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