Seaside Joe 735
Can Seahawks find a cheaper "Carlos Dunlap"?
In only eight games with the Seahawks last season, Dunlap had five sacks. He was two sacks shy of having more sacks than any other pass rusher on the team who doesn’t play safety. This is a clear indication that Seattle has struggled to find adequate pass rushers in the last five years, other than Dunlap.
Former first round pick L.J. Collier had three sacks in 16 games.
Former second round pick Darrell Taylor missed the entire season.
Former third round pick Rasheem Green had two sacks in 10 games.
The return of Bruce Irvin was a short one. Benson Mayowa played about as well as Benson Mayowa should be expected to.
Jadeveon Clowney ended 2019 with only three sacks.
Ezekiel Ansah had 2.5 sacks in his 11-game career with the Seahawks.
In 2018, Barkevious Mingo had one sack in 16 games. Many hopes were pinned on Dion Jordan, who had 1.5 sacks in 12 games. Or Jacob Martin, who had three in 16.
In 2017, Sheldon Richardson had just one sack. Marcus Smith had 2.5. Dwight Freeney — yes, remember that Freeney was a Seahawk once? — had three sacks in four games. But was 37 by then.
Point being that since the Seahawks lost Cliff Avril to retirement, Michael Bennett to being Michael Bennett, and Frank Clark to a trade offer that Seattle couldn’t refuse, the team has failed in nearly every attempt to find new pass rushers. Given their lack of draft capital and 2021 cap space, the Seahawks have few avenues to any defensive end or linebacker who could be projected to match the production of a player like Dunlap.
Should Seattle lose Dunlap (he has a non-guaranteed $14 million cap hit and there is talk of cutting him if he can’t be restructured), they could return next season with Alton Robinson, Collier, Taylor, Green, and Jonathan Bullard as edge options. They would probably supplement that unit with unexciting veterans like Ryan Kerrigan or Trent Murphy. Dunlap is 32, but was at least productive recently.
That doesn’t mean that Dunlap should be endorsed as a $14 million player, but when it comes to believing that the Seahawks will do a satisfactory job of replacing him, I do not.