SEATTLE – Before re-signing with the Seattle Seahawks last month, veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap wanted to make sure Russell Wilson would remain his quarterback.
Dunlap said he got that assurance from Wilson himself.
Speaking to reporters via video conference for the first time since returning to Seattle on a two-year contract, Dunlap paraphrased his conversation with Wilson.
“I asked him if obviously he was going to be with us, because if I’m going to come back, I’m going to come back because I see him as my quarterback, and to the rest of the team, I want to pick up where we left off,” Dunlap said Tuesday. “And he told me he’s with us and he’s here to stay, and he said, ‘Come on, Hawks. I will not quote every one of his words. These words are not his words verbatim, but they are my explanation of how I interpreted what he said. “
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported at the start of free agency last month that the Chicago Bears made “a very aggressive chase” of Wilson, but were told that Seattle would not trade him at that time. The Bears were one of four teams that Wilson’s agent, Mark Rodgers, previously told Schefter that the quarterback would play if the Seahawks traded him.
The others were the Dallas Cowboys (who have since extended Dak Prescott’s contract), the Las Vegas Raiders and the New Orleans Saints. A source recently told ESPN that Wilson does not plan to expand his roster of teams. It has a no-trade clause that gives it veto power over any commercial destination.
Wilson worked to encourage running back Chris Carson to re-sign with the Seahawks, a source told ESPN. Dunlap said he and Wilson were in regular communication from the time the Seahawks released Dunlap in early March until they agreed to re-sign him two and a half weeks later, during the second week of free agency.
“A lot of teams showed interest, but only the real competitors really made offers,” Dunlap said. “But Seattle is where I wanted to be, so when the offer came from Seattle, I could tell you this: the deal was closed within 24 hours of being offered to sign.”
Dunlap’s two-year contract is worth $ 13.6 million with $ 8.5 million in guarantees. The two-time Pro Bowler was set to make $ 14.1 million before his release. Dunlap said the Seahawks made it clear to him when they acquired him in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals last October that they may have to release him after the season. He cited that transparency as one of the reasons he wanted to return to Seattle.
“They were very transparent and that is something that I appreciate from day one. When we were doing the signing and the exchange, they let me know that this would be a potential move in the [offseason], and then when it actually happened, yeah, it was still different because I had never been cut before, “he said.” But they were still very transparent. They wanted me to know that they wanted me back, only this was one of the moves they had to make due to the situation they were in in terms of maximum limits. “
Dunlap will continue to wear No. 43 with the Seahawks.
“I’m looking to pick up where we left off and do better,” he said. “That includes me keeping the same number. One of the things that they will learn about me is that I am a creature of habit. I like to finish what I started, and I feel like I have a lot of work to get done.”