Much like everyone else in Seattle, Carlos Dunlap had been wondering throughout the NFL free-agency period whether Russell Wilson wanted to remain a member of the Seahawks. Unlike most people in Seattle, Dunlap was able to directly ask Wilson about his status with the franchise.
Before he re-signed with the Seahawks on a two-year deal last month, Dunlap, who was traded from Cincinnati to Seattle midway through the 2020 season, spoke to Wilson and received some encouraging news. Wilson had previously expressed frustration with the organization, leading to plenty of trade rumors and speculation, but the veteran defensive end got a reassuring message from the Pro Bowl quarterback.
“I did ask him if, obviously, he was going to be with us, because if I’m coming back, I’m coming back because I see him as my quarterback, and the rest of the team, I want to pick up where we left off,” Dunlap told reporters on Tuesday. “And he told me that he’s with us and he’s here to stay, and he said, ‘Let’s go, Hawks.’
“I’m not going to quote his every word. These words are not his words verbatim, but these are my explanations of how I interpreted what he said.”
Multiple reports indicated that the Bears aggressively pursued a Wilson trade and made a monster offer, which included three first-round picks. The Seahawks stayed quiet on that front, though, and with the offseason now winding down, Wilson is likely to be Seattle’s starting QB for Week 1 of the 2021 campaign.
As for Dunlap, there was no debate about his preferred team. The 32-year-old always wanted to stick with the Seahawks, even after they initially released him for salary cap reasons.
“They were very transparent, and that’s something that I appreciated from Day 1 coming in,” Dunlap said. “When we were doing the signing and the trade, they let me know that this would be a potential move in the [offseason]. And then when it actually happened, yeah, it still hit different because I’d never been cut before, but they were still very transparent.
“They wanted me to know that they wanted me back, just this was one of the moves they had to make because of the situation they were in cap-wise.”
You can watch Dunlap’s full news conference below.