Dunlap, who was traded to Seattle in a mid-season swap last season, was due to carry a cap hit of $14,037,500 with a dead cap number of $0 if cut. In other words, his release was inevitable for the cap-strapped Seahawks, even though he had a very productive stint there after falling out of favor in Cincinnati.
Heading into the 2021 season, Dunlap has amassed 504 tackles, 109 tackles for loss, 241 QB hits, 87.5 sacks, 20 forced fumbles, and nine fumble recoveries, most of which came during his 11 years in Cincinnati. He had five sacks in nine games with the Seahawks last season.
Now 32 years old, it’s unlikely Dunlap will get a big contract with whoever he signs with next, but he’s still got enough left in the tank to be a productive edge rusher.
It’s unfortunate things went as badly as they did at the end in Cincinnati. The Bengals could still use a quality veteran pass rusher like Dunlap, but there’s little-to-no chance of that happening.
Hopefully, the relationship between Cincinnati and Dunlap can be mended to the point he comes back to sign a one-day contract whenever he decides to retire. Dunlap is absolutely one of the best defenders to ever play in Cincinnati, and he’ll have a strong case to be in the Bengals Ring of Honor if it ever comes to fruition.