The Cincinnati Bengals and veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap have not been on the same page this season.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bengals have told Dunlap to stay home from practice as trade talks revolving his next franchise loom large.
Sources: The #Bengals have told DE Carlos Dunlap to stay home rather than come to work today as the team sorts out his future. They have had trade talks centered around their disgruntled pass-rusher, and those are continuing.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 28, 2020
It’s been all downhill for Dunlap and the Bengals since he was demoted before the team’s Week 5 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, he’s taken his frustration to social media multiple times and has played less and less for the defense.
Last week, a boiling point had been reached. Dunlap was seen visually upset with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo this past Sunday. Playing under 25 percent of the snaps this past week, Dunlap’s anger clearly hit an all-time high, and now the Bengals are looking, seemingly more aggressively, at trading the star.
Dunlap, one of the most tenured Bengals on the roster, has not been a good match with the Zac Taylor-led coaching staff. A second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Dunlap has been a staple of this defense and has been nothing but consistent for the past several seasons.
Entering the season with two stars in Dunlap and Atkins, defensive line was supposed to be a unit of strength. With the injury to D.J. Reader and the off-field issues with both Dunlap and Atkins, the team’s defense has struggled as a result.
That said, the Bengals typically play hard-ball with their assets. Last season, we saw them unwilling to trade A.J. Green for a reasonable return. Now, their hand will be forced with Dunlap.
Teams like the New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks could all use Dunlap, but if there is no bidding war, the Bengals may just release him and he could then go to the best suitor.
The future is unclear, but for the Bengals, it’ll be a future without Carlos Dunlap.