Seahawks Trade For Pass Rusher Carlos Dunlap And I Want More

Praise be, a pass rusher is coming

Carlos Dunlap, Snacks Harrison, Jarran Reed and Benson Mayowa. That is a four man defensive line that, on paper, sounds a whole heck of lot better than LJ Collier, Poona Ford, Jarran Reed, and Benson Mayowa.

With all do respect to LJ and Poona, that is a veteran filled defensive line where offensive coaches now have to think a bit about the size, strength, and savvy of Harrison and Dunlap against the run. More over, with Dunlap added, they have to be at least a bit considered with a player that can beat you with a one on one pass rush. My hunch is that through their first six games of the season, offensive coordinators looked at Seattle’s defensive line, and breathed a sigh of relief more than anything else.

This trade for Carlos Dunlap is a nice start for Seattle to make a mid season revamp of what has been a dreadful defensive line as they head towards the second half of there season. Having Sacks Harrison now active will be a big boost as well, but Snacks is not a pass rusher, and Dunlap is. He is a legitimate pass rushing threat.

How significant is this addition? The only other player on Seattle’s roster that you can say is a pass rush threat is Benson Mayowa, and frankly, he’s probably more of a rotational piece to a pass rush on most other teams. Yet, in Seattle, he has been the guy. So far, through six games, he is tied for the team lead in sacks with two. He is tied with their starting safety Jamal Adams, who has not played for three games now. Yikes.

That’s how bad Seattle’s pass rush has been. Jarran Reed, so far, has not lived up to his expensive contract extension he signed last off-season (as a pass rusher). He had one nice game against the Vikings a couple weeks ago when he was going against one of the worst pass blocking guards in the league, but outside of that, he hasn’t done nearly enough. Poona Ford hasn’t taken a step forward to show he’s an interior pass rusher, either. LJ Collier also hasn’t proven that he’s much of a threat.

The only other defensive lineman that has flashed any real potential is rookie fifth rounder Alton Robinson, and he barely played against the Arizona Cardinals in a critical inter-divisional match last Sunday. That’s not good enough, and frankly, it’s inexcusable.

So, yes. I was leaping for joy in my living room when I heard yesterday morning that Seattle just traded for Dunlap. They desperately needed to make this deal if they are to have any shot of winning a tough NFC West division and advancing further through the playoffs.

Dunlap gives them a player that can be disruptive from either end position. At 6-6 and 285 pounds, he has length and size to play strong at the five technique position, but he also has enough quicks and athleticism to play the leo rush end spot where Pete Carroll hinted that they will use him at. With his size and length, I also wouldn’t be surprised if they ultimately end up moving him around the line on obvious passing downs like they did with Michael Bennett in years past. He is now likely the one player that they can put up against an offensive line’s weakest link to take advantage of in pass protection, thus giving others opportunities.

It cannot be overstated how significant his addition likely is to this defense line because, frankly, I think this line probably has been the worst one in professional football this year, and it was wasting the talents of those behind it. Therefore, there is little reason why I think Seattle can rest comfortably now with this addition.

They need more, and they should add at least one more piece before the trade deadline. In a year in which Russell Wilson is legitimately in MVP contention, and Seattle still has the best overall record in the NFC, Seattle should go all in for this season. There is no excuse for them not to do this.

People will point to the fact that they now have only four picks left in the 2021 draft, and are now tight against the salary cap. I loudly say to that stuff, “so what?!”

There are ways in which they can move money around to create more cap space for 2020. They can and perhaps should extend salaries to Tyler Lockett and KJ Wright, who are both playing out of their minds right now. This would free up space for this year and it would keep them around for a few more years to come. They could also do the same with Dunlap, who’s bigger salary runs through 2021. They could have him locked in through 2022 which would give him a three year window to win a Super Bowl or two after years of toiling in Cincinnati.

Also, instead of trading further picks, they could look to move players that might have value for other teams that are in a rebuild. They are overloaded at tight end, and linebacker right now. Could the possibly work out a player of player trade? I think it’s possible. Here’s one that I would explore.

Atlanta is supposedly looking to shop Tak McKinley right now, who fits Seattle’s profile at the leo end. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal that he signed as a first round pick, and hasn’t lived quite up to the billing after a promising first couple seasons in the league. He’s also been nursing a sore groin, and that likely isn’t going to help his trade value. He’s still probably a better rotational piece at leo end than anything Seattle presently has behind Mayowa right now.

Conversely, Seattle has Cody Barton at linebacker who has started for them but is probably going to be lost in the depth charts with rookie first round pick Jordyn Brooks healthy again, and Seattle also potentially activating Mychal Kendricks off their practice squad. Barton looks like a player that can be a decent coverage backer, and in a division where the Falcons play against Drew Brees, and Tom Brady twice a season, they might see value in Barton as they look to rebuild their roster, especially considering that they can have him on a cheap rookie contract for a couple more seasons.

If they aren’t finding much of a trade market for McKinley, offering Barton might get the deal done, and at least they get something for their former first rounder that can be a piece moving forward. In return, Seattle gets a player that had enough potential a few years ago to be taken in the first round that they can work into their pass rush rotation for this year, and if they like what they see, they can look to extend for future years.

In my opinion, this is a calculated roll of the dice that is worth taking for the Seahawks as they look to compete for a championship now, but also are looking further down the round. This is how a team that consistently drafts later in rounds because they routinely make the post season stays competitive in a tough NFC West conference that hosts three other teams built for both now and for the future.

This is just one example. There are probably many others out there.

I love this trade for Dunlap, but I want more. I hope that the Seattle Seahawks want more, as well, and I hope that they just go out and get more. Just be aggressive. Do it for Russell, Bobby Wagner, and KJ Wright. Do it for the fans.

Go for it. Nobody should blame the team for trying if they did, and it wasn’t enough for 2020. They will have exhausted all means to make a push. They will have gone all in.

But if they fall short of doing that, and didn’t exhaust all means to fortify their struggling defense, then fingers could be pointed a bit more. Then the bellowing sounds of self professed Russell Wilson lover Colin Cowherd (who will surely continue to hammer the point that Seattle isn’t doing enough to support their star quarterback) can and should be heard by Seahawk fans more.

Simply, there is little excuse for John Schneider to not continue being aggressive before the trade deadline next week. Frankly, I don’t even care of they further gut their 2021 draft to do it, if the right player is available. The opportunity to win the whole damn thing is here, right now. They should just go for it, and figure out draft picks later.

This is how I see it, anyways.

Go Hawks.


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