BY Art Thiel 03:23PM 08/07/2020

Charges dropped against Seahawks’ Dunbar

Prosecutors in Florida surprisingly dropped felony robbery charges against CB Quinton Dunbar. If NFL clears him, he will conclude a big makeover of the secondary.

The Seahawks gave up a fifth-round pick to Washington for CB Quinton Dunbar. / Redskins.com

One of the stranger off-field sagas in Seahawks history presumably ended Friday when Florida prosecutors, citing lack of evidence, surprisingly dropped felony armed robbery charges against CB Quinton Dunbar.

That means the fourth-year pro, acquired in May for a fifth-round draft pick from the Washington Football Team, could rejoin soon a Seahawks secondary transformed from 2019’s mediocre outfit. Pro Football Focus rated Dunbar the No. 2 cornerback in 2019.

(UPDATE Saturday) Dunbar, 28, will be removed from the commissioner’s exempt list, making him eligible to join the Seahawks training camp Sunday, NFL.com reported. The NFL will investigate further if new information is disclosed. He will have to undergo COVID-19 testing for three days before taking the field. (end update)

His co-defendant in the bewildering May 13 episode, New York Giants CB DeAndre Baker, remains charged with four counts of robbery with a gun, accused of stealing cash and watches from four men at the party.

Dunbar’s attorney, Andrew Rier, told The News Tribune that he expects Dunbar to be moved off the exempt list shortly and allowed to fly from Miami to join the Seahawks in training camp at team headquarters in Renton, where non-padded practices begin Wednesday.

“I’m extremely happy,” Rier told the TNT. “I think the Broward County prosecutors did the right thing in dropping the charges against Mr. Dunbar. I can’t wait to root for him on the football field this fall.

“He did nothing wrong. He is innocent.”

Dunbar’s previous attorney, Michael Grieco, claimed to a judge that the partygoers made up stories about Dunbar’s involvement in the robbery, and had affadavits from each recanting the details they gave police that led to Dunbar’s arrest. He was released on $100,000 bond.

In July, the New York Daily News broke a story that said a witness saw the four victims get paid $55,000 in Grieco’s Miami office for those statements recanting the original claims. Dunbar switched attorneys shortly thereafter, and Grieco is under investigation by the Florida bar.

The full story likely awaits the trial of Baker, a 2019 first-round pick of the Giants. If  convicted, Baker, 22, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in state prison.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, complete the secondary makeover with four accomplished veterans. The only holdover from the 2019 start is Shaquill Griffin, 25, who had a breakout year that included a Pro Bowl appearance, and will join Dunbar at the corners. The Seahawks last week traded for All-Pro SS Jamal Adams, 24, from the New York Jets. Quandre Diggs, 27, was acquired from Detroit Oct. 31, and was a difference-maker in his five regular-season and two post-season starts.

The Seahawks still have returnees CB Tre Flowers, CB Ugo Amadi and SS Marquise Blair to compete for the slot corner job in the nickel formation.

Including first-round pick LB Jordyn Brooks, it appears coach Pete Carroll has no further tolerance for being embarrassed on defense. Now all the Seahawks need is a season.

 


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YourThoughts

  • tor5

    What a strange story. I’ll sure be interested to hear Dunbar describe what happened, but I think it will be a long wait. I can’t help but think that between Dunbar, Baker, the partygoers, the witnesses, the defense attorneys, and the prosecutors, most of them were up to no good. But I’m not sure who.

    • art thiel

      I haven’t figured it out, and since litigation is still pending against Baker, that will be a convenient excuse for Dunbar to say nothing. I would like to hear from Grieco.

  • woofer

    No surprise. The cops’s story was bizarre and improbable, full of blatant racist stereotypes. To some degree a tip of the hat is likely due Black Lives Matter and the greater awareness of police gamesmanship that it has engendered.

    • art thiel

      The cops may well have fed a stinker to the prosecutors, who recognized the case was no hill to die on.

      • tor5

        That’s possible, but the remaining charges against Baker would seem to suggest that the case is not wholly a stinker.

        • art thiel

          Keep in mind that the Baker case, if it proceeds to trial, may reveal some Dunbar culpability or misdeed. “Seem to suggest” is a phrase not found in case law.

  • 2nd place is 1st loser

    If the Hawks keep him on the roster, this should speak volumes as to the Hawks perceived pedigree aura regarding players. Would this guy be allowed to be on the team if Paul Allen was still alive? I would say….Doubtful.

    • art thiel

      I understand fans’ appreciation for what Allen did, but he had only small input on personnel. If he cared a lot about character, he would never have let Bob Whitsitt run the Seahawks and Blazers.

      • Husky73

        Bazinga!

      • OUCH! That is going to leave a mark.

  • Hockeypuck

    When they drafted Frank Clark, John Schneider went to great lengths to say they did their own investigation and that “they would never draft a player that engaged in violence against women”. Turns out he just called FC’s friends and family who said he was a great guy. Shocker. Jarran Reed was then arrested for assaulting his girlfriend (read details of the police report – I did). And the Seahawks resigned to a generous contract because “he’s one of our guys”. And now they’re flirting with Antonio Brown, who has been accused by more than one woman of sexual assault. Charges against Quinton Dunbar were dropped because of “lack of evidence”. Four people filed statements against QD – only to recant a few days later. Unlike some of the posters below I’m not a naive simp. Most likely they were paid off to recant their statements. I’m sure the penal colony in Renton will welcome him with open arms.

    I would concur that if Paul Allen was alive the Seahawk franchise would not have devolved into the putrid, disingenuous organization it has become. John Schneider and Pete Carroll are desperate, pathetic, hypocritical liars. They need to be fired for cause. I hope Jody will take the necessary action to prevent these slimeballs from tarnishing her brother’s legacy….

    • James

      But according to Art, the other 95 percent of players are good people. It’s not the Seahawks that have murderers like the Patriots.

      • art thiel

        And of course, James, you know better than anyone the character of each player.

        • James

          And you see Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett and stretch that to 95%.

          • art thiel

            And you don’t see anyone who doesn’t have a rap sheet.

    • art thiel

      Allen’s presence or absence was little influence. He hired plenty of desperadoes as Blazers owner. Every team every year in every pro sport makes the same sort of decisions as PC/JS. I don’t like some of the decisions either, especially if they hire Brown. But I would submit the per capita knucklehead percentage on the Seahawks is lower than the U.S. Senate.

      • Hockeypuck

        Art – your point about Portland is fair – I had completely forgotten about the “JailBlazers”. But my real point is not about the Seahawk’s knucklehead quotient but rather the rank hypocrisy of JS and PC. PC’s most recent attempt at revisionist history regarding their fleeting dalliance with Colin Kaepernick (“golly, we really, really, really wanted to sign him, but alas….”) was the final straw in my book. Unless, of course they sign AB – then THAT will be the final straw. Followed I’m sure by another final straw, and another one after that. I don’t expect pro sports franchises to be paragon’s of virtue. But at the very least they shouldn’t trumpet their virtue when in fact they’re simply doing whatever it takes to succeed in their sport – and any correlation between their actions and principle are mostly just coincidence.

        I appreciate your broader, societal view on sports, and especially your willingness to take on difficult subjects and ask uncomfortable questions. The fact that I’m occasionally (but not often) annoyed by your approach means you’re doing your job IMHO. I’m sure there are exceptions, but it seems that most sports journalists in Seattle have a very obsequious relationship with the teams they cover. Perhaps I’m expecting too much, but in this day and age – when broader societal issues are justifiably having an increasing influence on every aspect of sports – I don’t think the public is well served by that approach.

        • art thiel

          Thanks. I will say there has been a steady decline in the willingness of local and national journalists ask difficult questions, and to understand how sports, race and politics have entwined together forever, should we care to look. That understanding should be as much a part of a sports media person’s approach as exit velo, EPA, and efficiency rates.

  • jafabian

    I’m surprised Dunbar wasn’t taken to trial. Perhaps the stories regarding his involvement were so many and so conflicting the courts decided it wasn’t worth pursuing. Especially with no smoking gun as it were. Seahawks got lucky on this, except in Tre Flowers case. LOB 2 is back on course.

    • art thiel

      The huge backlog of criminal cases in Broward County since the shutdown may have contributed. If there was conflicting testimony about Dunbar’s role, prosecutors may have said never mind.

  • Alan Harrison

    I don’t understand the many “Paul Allen would never” comments. They’re flat out wrong. Paul Allen didn’t care about players’ character – that was Tim Ruskell. Doesn’t anyone remember the Jail Blazers under Bob Whitsett? Now who was their owner again? Paul Allen’s strength about sports is that he knew nothing and knew he knew nothing, so he hired people to “handle that,” much like he did with his other hobby businesses. Common consensus is that Jodi is not Paul – she has a much stronger personality – so it will be interesting to see if she cares about choosing between character issues and winning, don’t you think?

    • art thiel

      In responses to other readers here, I said the same thing. Allen drove Blazers fans nuts during the Jail Blazers era. Having said that, it was clear that Schneider and his people hadn’t fully vetted Clark. They didn’t know Harvin had anxiety disorder. And they blew past all the red flags on Malik McDowell.

  • Chris Alexander

    It has long amazed me – and the comments on this this thread / in this case generally are no different – how little sports fans seem to value the idea that someone is INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY.

    • James

      So OJ was innocent? Never murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman?

      And innocent people people are never found guilty and spend decades in prison?

      Why are people jailed before trial if they are innocent?

      • Chris Alexander

        Super convenient to play the OJ card but it misses the point. With OJ there’s plenty of knowledge about what happened and a civil judgment to boot so “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t really apply. Plus, he was an ex-player at the time so not really the same thing there either. My comment was aimed squarely at sports “FANS” who turn on their team and/or on players over ALLEGATIONS, long before the actual FACTS of a case are known and/or before any criminal (or civil) judgments are rendered in court and/or before the accused ‘fesses up.

        • James

          And my point is if we believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty, then there’s 100% innocence out there, and that is not reasonable to believe everyone accused is innocent. There is some degree of likelihood that in a given set of allegations, some will be true, statistically. Allegations turn into guilt, unless the accused has money to skate scot-free.

          • tor5

            Your statement about “likelihood” is incorrect. I could allege that “James committed 100 felonies yesterday.” That doesn’t mean that there is some “statistical likelihood” that some of them are true.

          • James

            Your statement is stupid. No police investigation alleges I committed anything.

          • tor5

            I think you mean to say that police allegations, in the aggregate, are correlated with guilt. That’s somewhat different than your original broad statement about “statistical likelihood” pertaining to a portion of a “set of allegations” needing to be true, which remains incorrect. It’s not personal.

          • Archangelo Spumoni

            Easy there, Gerald. No need to get hot.

      • Husky73

        OJ was found “not guilty” by a jury of his peers.

        • James

          Cops making amends for that miscarriage of justice. Which is why we have riots today.

          • art thiel

            What a craving you have for simplicity.

          • James

            Your petulance is showing.

      • art thiel

        Really poor analogy, and understanding of law.

      • Bruce McDermott

        A better, and more accurate, term for “innocent” is “not guilty.” The difference reflects the high burden of proof necessary to convict for a crime. On a different burden, in a civil wrongful death case, a jury found that Simpson had in fact killed the woman wrongfully.

    • woofer

      Yes, and you would imagine that Seahawks fans would be happy to get back a much-needed talented cornerback. Not so. Many of the commenters seem genuinely distressed that Dunbar was not tossed into jail and appear to believe, without evidence and as an article of faith, that the dismissal of criminal charges was somehow “rigged.” Would we have seen the same reaction if Dunbar had been white? Most assuredly not.

      Maybe your last line should be revised to read: how little sports fans seem to value the idea that a black man also is INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY.

      • art thiel

        The episode is so strange that no conclusions can be drawn. It’s true that Dunbar was at the party, but we don’t know what misdeeds may have occurred that fell short of a prosecutor’s willingness to charge. Everyone wants a simple yes/no, especially in sports, where we are trained to accept only winner/loser.

        • woofer

          This is doubletalk. The man was investigated and not charged. Legally, nothing happened. End of story. No need to speculate on what the prosecutor may or may not have had for breakfast.

          • James

            Art has a penchant to find complexity in everything.

          • art thiel

            James, you have a lust for simplicity. I’ll say no more.

          • Bruce McDermott

            Agreed. But that is not the way the NFL is bound to look at it, for better or worse….

          • art thiel

            See answer above, Bruce.

          • art thiel

            This is absolutely not doubletalk. The NFL has a say in it that was collectively bargained with the players.

            From the personal conduct policy:

            “In cases in which a player is not charged with a crime, or is charged but not convicted, he may still be found to have violated the Policy if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in prohibited conduct.”

            Your desire for yes/no doesn’t apply, woofer.

          • woofer

            You’re right, of course, that the NFL stance currently remains muddy. That’s just the nature of the NFL. But the legal situation is now crystal clear — that conclusion can now be safely drawn. And I would humbly offer that it is extremely unlikely that the NFL will find “credible evidence” of “prohibited conduct” that the prosecutor somehow missed.The personnel policy that you cite seems designed to deal with a domestic violence situation where the assaulted wife or girlfriend declines to testify. The physical injuries resulting from the player’s assault are egregious but the victim wants to make peace — and there are no other first hand witnesses.

            An armed robbery at a big party is totally different. If the prosecutors had a strong case against Dunbar, they would surely have brought it. Witnesses were abundant. The geniuses at the NFL office aren’t going to find something that the prosecutors missed. After full consideration the prosecutors dismissed all charges against Dunbar and the NFL, possessing no evidence beyond what the prosecutors reviewed, should and likely will quickly follow suit.

          • Kirkland

            I think that “innocent until proven guilty” is similar to free speech, where authorities/government can’t punish you but employers and private institutions certainly can.

            Tweeting something dumb isn’t against the law and you won’t be censored or jailed, but your boss has the right to revoke your employment. Likewise, if you were suspected or charged for a crime, you’re still legally considered innocent until the courts rule against you, but your boss can still can you for showing bad judgment or putting the company in a bad light.

            The only time when “innocent until proven guilty” is universally accepted is if it’s clear the accused had nothing to do with the incident. Such as Marshawn Lynch getting accused for assault when he was actually at Seahawks HQ at the time, or, worse, Duke lacrosse, where the accuser in fact made the whole story up.

          • art thiel

            Violations of the personal conduct standard don’t have to meet the standard of law. It’s whatever the league is embarrassed by, and it doesn’t have to be domestic violence. The NFL doesn’t have to find something investigators missed.

    • Husky73

      “It has long amazed me” that the general public believes that professional athlets have less rights than others, especially around compensation….he makes too much money…..no one should be able to make that money….he should have to give half his pay check to charity, etc. And you are right, there is a presumption of innocence in our system and in this country. BUT, this guy just strikes me as trouble (just a gut instinct) and I wouldn’t touch him with an 11 foot Swede.

      • art thiel

        “Gut instinct” is what our president goes by. We have to do better.

        • Husky73

          Trump’s only instinct is “how does this benefit me?”

    • art thiel

      We didn’t get to be the nation with the world’s highest per-capita incarceration rate for no reason. Many sports fans are a sub-set of the group in which arrest = conviction. Body cams and video cams are showing a different side of the story.

  • coug73

    The NFL is a business. Maximize profits with whoever gets the job done. Hurt the bottom line you get the boot. I remember my CYO and HS coaches had this simple rule. Don’t embarrass the team, school or yourself.

    • Husky73

      My CYO coach’s rule was there will be no way in hell that we lose to Holy Family. Amen.

    • art thiel

      Easy phrase to say, sometimes hard to do if you’re young and stupid. Which of course, you and I never were. Your CYO and HS coaches didn’t know much about human nature; they just wanted control.

  • SeattleSince57

    Seahawks rank 12th in arrests since 2000, with 30.
    Minnesota leads with 54.

    • art thiel

      Source, please. And conviction count?

      • SeattleSince57

        nflarrest,com

  • art thiel

    Thanks. Hadn’t seen that. Appears to be 10 convictions/diversions among the 30. Too bad all of our workplaces don’t face similar tabulations so we could compare.

  • DJ

    Thanks Art. The outcome of any black athlete’s situation with being suspected or charged of wrong doing takes on another dimension now as we see the bias in our criminal justice system being exposed. I’m more willing to give that athlete more of a chance now than before, perhaps more than I would a white player with a track record of similar misdeeds. I’m gonna cheer this young man on, without another thought about this weird robbery episode. The weirdness of the story and the outcome erodes at the credibility of the authorities involved. Time to put it behind him. A season actually happening would certainly help! What year that ends up happening is what should be at question now

    • art thiel

      It’s good that you’re more aware of the bias in the criminal justice system. You’re free to cheer Dunbar as you want. Since I’m a journalist who hasn’t heard a plausible explanation, much less a verdict, I’m obligated to keep one eyebrow arched.

  • Bruce McDermott

    Not quite, Art. Now, all the Seahawks need is a defensive line with a pass rush, and THEN a season.