The Cincinnati Bengals have one of their best players returning for the final round of OTAs.
Carlos Dunlap is not only back in Cincinnati for the team’s mandatory minicamp this week, but the two sides are also progressing toward a contract extension. Dunlap also expressed his desire to keep playing for the team that brought him into the NFL as a second-round pick out of Florida in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Carlos Dunlap is back. Said his agent and #Bengals are "making progress" toward a new contract. He said he wanted to train on his own and OTAs are voluntary.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) June 12, 2018
Carlos Dunlap is here at Bengals minicamp after skipping OTA's. 2018 is a contract year for him but he says he wants to remain a Bengal because "they gave me my first shot." @WLWT pic.twitter.com/KVuAg1Tqyf— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) June 12, 2018
To this point, Dunlap has not been attending OTAs while also skipping voluntary offseason workouts in hopes of getting a new contract. That’s big for Dunlap, as he’s set to lose a $300,000 workout bonus for skipping these workouts.
But while that may seem like a nice chunk of change, it’s very small in comparison to the big contract he could sign as a free agent in 2019. He wants a new contract, and he also doesn’t want to risk an injury in an offseason workout like we’ve seen plaguing the NFL this year.
Entering his ninth NFL season, Dunlap has 64.5 career sacks, 244 tackles, 42 pass deflections and 16 forced fumbles. In 2017, Dunlap recorded 7.5 sacks, 46 total tackles, seven pass deflections and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Dunlap is already poised to go down as one of the best pass-rushers in Bengals history. If he plays out the rest of his career here and continues to play at a high level, he could go down as the best.
Missing OTAs isn’t really a big deal, and Dunlap has been training on his own in Florida to prepare for the 2018 NFL season.
However, Mandatory minicamps begin this week, and the team can issue bigger fines for skipping these.