The roster move clears about $14.1 million in salary-cap space for the Seahawks in 2021, but it leaves Seattle without one of its most productive edge rushers. According to ESPN, the franchise is expected to try and re-sign Dunlap at a cheaper price once he tests the free-agent market.
Earlier Monday, Dunlap acknowledged the impending move in a tweet. The two-time Pro Bowl selection wrote: “Still grateful. Thank you Seahawks and to the #12’s!”
Dunlap was scheduled to count $14.1 million against the salary cap in the final year of his contract, according to Spotrac. Dunlap’s cap charge included a $3 million bonus that he would have earned if he remained on the Seahawks’ roster by March 21.
The roster bonus was a late addition to Dunlap’s contract as part of a restructure he agreed to so the Cincinnati Bengals could trade him to the Seahawks in October.
In nine games — including the postseason — with the Seahawks, Dunlap recorded five sacks and 15 quarterback hits.
The 32-year-old Dunlap spent his first 10-plus NFL seasons in Cincinnati. The Bengals selected him in the second round of the 2010 draft.
Dunlap, however, grew frustrated with the organization over his limited role on defense last season, leading to his mid-season trade to Seattle for a seventh-round pick and offensive lineman B.J. Finney.
In 163 career games with the Bengals and Seahawks, Dunlap has notched 503 total tackles, 87.5 sacks, 20 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 61 passes defensed.