BY Art Thiel 09:24PM 03/25/2021

Thiel: Dunlap back; Hawks cut Reed, add Woods

The Seahawks’ strategy to bring back pass rusher Carlos Dunlap worked, but part of the cost includes the cut (or trade) of DT Jarran Reed. Cold business.

In his first Seahawks game last fall, DE Carlos Dunlap had one of Seattle’s seven sacks of Buffalo QB Josh Allen. / via

The NFL marketplace has worked in the Seahawks’ favor to retain DE Carlos Dunlap. But there’s always a personnel cost.

Dunlap, 32, confirmed on Twitter Thursday evening that he has been hired back by Seattle, apparently after finding the free agent market was cool to him. But the Seahawks were forced to go cold on five-year vet DT Jarran Reed, an able run-stuffer who also had 6.5 sacks last season.

Reed, 28 and a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, was cut Friday to help make room for Dunlap’s reported two-year deal worth up to $16.6 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed.

Dunlap was thrilled to be back.

Reed, naturally, was not too excited after seeing his salary in jeopardy and perhaps entering a market where cash becomes tighter daily.

The Seahawks had hoped to land a draft pick for Reed, but nothing transpired. Reed’s tweet couldn’t have helped.

Reed, who signed a two-year, $23 million extension last year, had a whopping cap number for 2021 of nearly $14 million, currently the team’s fourth highest, according to He apparently was trying to negotiate a long-term extension to lower that number, but it didn’t work out.

Friday update: To replace Reed, the Seahawks went back down memory lane to re-sign DT Al Woods, 34, who sat out the 2020 season to avoid COVID-19.  It’s his third go-round with Seattle, after two games in 2011 and 14 in 2019, including five starts. He missed the final two games after being suspended by the NFL for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Seattle is Woods’ sixth team after being taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of LSU by the New Orleans Saints. In 2019, he was part of 32 tackles, had a sack and recovered two fumbles.

Woods was reported to have signed a one-year deal for up to $3 million with $750,000 guaranteed. That created some room under the cap, because Reed’s salary was going to be $8.9 million, plus a $5 million signing bonus that remains on Seattle’s books as dead money. So cutting Reed and adding Woods is a savings of $5.9 million.

If the Reed situation didn’t work out well, at least the Seahawks’ strategy to get Dunlap back for less than the $14.1 million cap number has paid off. Presumably the club figured guys who can do what he did off the edge — five sacks in eight games and making offenses account for him — is a commodity harder to come by than Reed’s skillset.

Dunlap’s return was sufficient to draw out from Russell Wilson a supportive tweet during a time when his allegiance has come under question.

Dunlap came cheap to Seattle, acquired in October from Cincinnati for a seventh-round pick and O-line stiff B.J. Finney. A defense that was woeful early became more than respectable, with 46 sacks, seventh-most in the NFL.

His return follows the one Monday by free agent DE Benson Mayowa, who when healthy shared the rush end spot that became so productive. The Seahawks bolstered the other D-end spot with the signing of free agent Kerry Hyder, who last season with the 49ers provided a career-high 8.5 sacks after star DE Nick Bosa was lost for the season to injury.

If Hyder can bring similar production to win the starting job over incumbents L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green, the edges would seem to be in good shape, more so than a year ago when the Seahawks engaged in magnum dither with free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney. They resisted his high ask for a one-year deal. He moved on and played only eight sackless games for Tennessee before being lost for the season to injury.

Besides bringing back Woods, the Seahawks also re-signed DT Bryan Mone, and gave a pay boost to underrated starter DT Poona Ford.

The cost savings with Woods became important because of the flurry of pending free agent signings put the Seahawks beyond the cap. OverTheCap reported that the Seahawks have yet to make official the contracts of Mayowa, RB Chris Carson, DE OT Cedric Ogbuehi, OG Jordan Simmons and RB Alex Collins.

They remain temporarily off the books while the Seahawks apparently attempt to restructure the contracts with the biggest cap hits (Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Tyler Lockett) to fit in all the new hires.

If that doesn’t work, another veteran contributor may get the Reed treatment.



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  • BB46

    I wonder if KJ is willing to do something interesting with contract #’s and come back too.
    I doubt Sherman comes back. Just the rumor made me wonder if His personality and Jamal Adams Personality can co exist in the same D backfield.
    I really like KJ. Darn good football player and seems like a just a DANDY fella. Could be a Covid caused cap casualty. But hope I’m wrong.

    • art thiel

      Everyone who has been around Wright wants him back. It’s just a tough year to be a 32 yo LB in a down marketplace.

  • jafabian

    IMO Reed will be back at a more team friendly contract. If not I hear Danny Shelton is available.

    • art thiel

      Possible with Reed. They do like his play, and he may be learning the FA ceiling for DTs was lower than he believes.

      Shelton would be joining his fourth team in his 7th pro season. He’s been just OK, and if he comes cheaply, it might be worth it.

  • Bruce McDermott

    They aren’t going to use Taylor as a DT, except maybe on stunts and the occasional rush.
    He’s a thoroughbred DE type.

    If they use him at all, frankly. I’ll believe it when I see him on the field.

    • art thiel

      That is his profile, but he’s missed a year of football, and the Seahawks have a need they want to fill from someone on the roster already damaged by bad choices and the diminished cap. A solution may require creativity.

      • art thiel

        As as of Friday afternoon, we have a “solution” — 34 yo Al Woods who sat out 2020. Snacks Harrison redux. Not impressive.

        • 2nd place is 1st loser

          Beggars can’t be choosers.

  • Alan Harrison

    Does it seem to you that they’re doing everything they can NOT to restructure RW’s contract to get all these signings, just to keep the Bears salivating? It seems that restructuring Wagner and Lockett pays for these signings, if KJ is signed by another team and Penny is traded for a 7th round pick. I can see them moving LJ Collier into the DT spot, but I think they know now that he is not the Michael Bennett they thought he was. Then there’s the draft for a CB (Melifonwu), OL depth (Meinerz), a project DL, and a WR? Decisions, decisions…

    • art thiel

      We don’t know yet what the timetable is for restructuring. They may be working on all three of their biggest contracts. They may be considering trades for picks. The Bears have no play here.

      The Seahawks are good at not letting us see behind the curtain. Patience.

  • Seattle Psycho

    This is why I do not have a problem with players holding out when they have leverage. Tired of people saying “he signed the contract, he should play it out”. Well, the Seahawks signed Reed’s contract and now he is most likely going to be cut. It’s all a business and each side needs to do what is best for them.

    • art thiel

      Good point. Reed signed a deal that was going to be tough for SEA to handle in ’21. I hope he gets a job, and players beware.

      • eyeroq

        You’ve got nothing to worry about, I’m sure he’ll find work.

  • Seattle Psycho

    SF just traded for the #3 pick in the draft

    • jafabian

      Hawks are the only team in the NFC West that hasn’t done anything to improve from last year. I read on that Celtics GM Danny Ainge did his recent three team trade partly because, and this is a direct quote “ I want our coach to feel hope, and I sensed some discouragement internally with our guys.” Something has to give at some point because all they’ve done is lose players.

      • Husky73

        You have to play the hand you’re dealt, and the Seahawks have few cards to play. They are over the cap, almost wiped out of draft picks, and the star quarterback wants out.

        • 2nd place is 1st loser

          If you think it’s bad now, wait until they can’t get Jamal Adams resigned. There’s a distinct possibility that he walks out the door at the end of 2021 with nothing to show for it. The draft misery will get worse if they don’t trade him for some kind of draft compensation soon. He’s going to have all the leverage if the Hawks can’t get a deal done sooner than later.

          • art thiel

            Glad you pointed out the hardest remaining task. A new Adams deal at top of market is nearly impossible.

          • 1coolguy

            I suspect Wagner will either be gone or have his salary greatly reduced after this season, freeing up space for Adams. For what we gave up to the Jets for him, I don’t think JS wants a thick piece of the sure humble pie from Adams’ leaving.

          • art thiel

            Wagner may be priced out after this season — unless the Seahawks don’t have to pay Wilson.

        • art thiel

          Yes, Boxed in.

        • Nads

          When did the QB announce he wants out? That would actually be news instead of the raft of baseless presumptions and speculations that have gone on in media circles..

          • Husky73

            His agent informing the Seahawks of the teams that he would approve going to was a clue, don’t ya think?

          • jafabian

            Even Stevie Wonder could see that Wilson is shopping himself.

          • art thiel

            He hasn’t yet, but his agent cleverly announced the four teams he would consider IF a trade were sought. It put the Seahawks on the defensive, and boy are they pissed.

      • art thiel

        I know fans always want blockbuster deals, and I don’t believe the off-season is over yet. As I wrote before free agency began, the Seahawks were boxed in because a good team came to a bad end and had little cap room and few picks. What did you want — a trade of Wilson?

        • jafabian

          My guess is that Schneider will do something similar to what the Niners did: mortgage future draft picks to enhance the Seahawks current draft. But instead of trying to go as high as he can he’ll do his usual MO and get as many picks as he can for rounds 4-7. Considering the moves of the rest of the division they must be thinking that the Seahawks truly are boxed in and now is the time to move. Much like how the Niners were towards the end of Eddie Debartolo era and it took them 19 years just to return to the Super Bowl. Can’t wheel and deal if few are willing and I’m wondering if some teams freeze out the Hawks because of their success.

          I also agree with what Danny Ainge said but impressing fans and employees should not be the only reason to do trades and sign players. But neither can you stand pat or else you give off the impression of complacency. If that happens you become the Detroit Lions or Miami Dolphins.

      • James May

        I like the moves so far. Keeping Carson along with adding Everett and Jackson are good cheap moves to address need for experienced talent on Offense. Mewoya, Dunlap, and Hyder plus Poona solidify the D-Line and leave room for Robinson and Taylor to flash. How much does a 12 win team do other than fill gaps? Reed is the biggest loss so far but I think the depth will replace his production. Griifin walked – he was always at the scene of the crime but rarely stole anything so “meh” (especially at Jacksonville’s number) I think we’re better than we were against LA in the playoffs…

        • jafabian

          They easily could have been 8-8 and they have the 11th toughest schedule. Already they’ve lost their best CB, most productive TE, #3 WR and #2 RB. They’ve replaced Hollister with Everett, Griffin with Witherspoon and potentially Reed with Hyder. They’re certainly not done because they can’t afford to be but with limited cap space currently they don’t come across right now as a team that will be better than last year, especially when you consider that they will have a first year OC. That inexperience is probably why Carl Smith was brought back as Associate Head Coach.

          • art thiel

            Smith was brought back because Carroll needed a manager, and Carroll and Wilson needed a referee they trusted.

            For the past two years, the Seahawks’ record has been better than their talent, so a regression is entirely plausible.

        • art thiel

          The D is improved except for Griffin’s spot. Witherspoon is an inadequate replacement. They may have to make do with Flowers.

          Everett might be the most athletic TE in a long time.

    • art thiel


      • Kevin Lynch

        Do they want Wilson? Or is he going to NY? My intuition tells me this could be significant.

        • art thiel

          Not sure who “they” is, but I don’t think SF gets to trade for Wilson.

  • Hockeypuck

    Years of cap and personnel mismanagement have doomed this team. Paul Richardson, Germain Ifedi, Rashaad Penny (could have been Nick Chubb), Malik McDowell (TJ Watt) , LJ Collier, Darrell Taylor, et al have doomed this team. They sign Bobby Wagner to an $18mm contract to play an irrelevant position – and then spend a 1st round pick on his replacement. This would be smart, except Coach Wonka won’t trade Wags because of the whole “locker room culture thing” (note to Coach Wonka – we’re not living in the the 70s anymore).The thing about arrogant people is they never have a backup plan – who needs one when you’re the smartest guys in the room? So they went into the 2019 draft thinking they would get Montez Sweat and Jonathan Abrams. Things go south and they end up with…..LJ Collier and Marquis Blair lol. Arrogant people also naturally assume that they’re supremely popular and that of course everyone wants to be with them. So they sacrifice precious draft capital to acquire the likes of Sheldon Richardson and Jadeveon Clowney – because of course they’ll resign with us right? And when they finally realize they’re not smart or popular they panic – voila I give you the Jamaal Adams trade (PFF rated him the ~ 50th best safety in the NFL last year). Apparently the primping, preening an post-game pontificating are critical to the future of the franchise . And now the cycle of incompetence is complete. Until Vulcan management sells the team this franchise’s on field fortunes will continue to deteriorate…

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    • Husky73

      Yes, aren’t you exhausted by the incompetence of a 12-4 season, continuing to win NFC West titles, two NFL championships, winning a Super Bowl and a long run playoff appearances? So Wonka-ish….It’s like they don’t know what they’re doing.

      • Ed Walsh

        Yes. Likewise so dismayed by all that winning. Could be, however, that Seattle fans and media are just plain spoiled.

        • Husky73

          Spoiled? We have the Mariners and Husky men’s basketball to even things out.

        • 2nd place is 1st loser

          Apparently you’ve not heard of the Seattle Mariners. Look em up, that’ll set ya straight on Seattle fans being spoiled.

    • art thiel

      Amazing they managed 12-4 after 11-5, given the rampant lunacy you describe.

      I will say that the drafts of recent years have been mediocre at best. Reed’s departure means the only remaining draftee from 2016 is RB Alex Collins, who was on the street before SEA brought him back in ’20, and now he’s signed for a one-year deal at the vet minimum to be RB3.

      As I wrote previously, free agency is price a team pays for poor drafting. It is that much harder when needs are many in a year when the cap shrinks.

      But I don’t think PC/JS are any more arrogant or self-delusional than many bosses elsewhere in the NFL, including the small group that’s made nine playoffs in 11 seasons. Look around and see how fleeting success has been for many teams since 1993. The NFL system is built to degrade success and repair failures more quickly than any pro team sport.

      It’s part of why so many care about the game. Losers can become champs in a season, as we just saw.

      • Hockeypuck

        Well, you may be right about that – I don’t follow other teams so “arrogance” may simply be an occupational hazard more than anything. Everyone makes mistakes, but PC/JS seem to take special pride in their non-conventional, idiosyncratic actions – hence my comments. And the last 8 years their drafts have been (with a few exceptions) disastrous. Realize that when you consistently draft at the lower end of each round you may be forced to take risks, but many/most of their decisions have been just inexplicably bad. So bad that many in the pro football community (anonymously through the media of course) express bemusement concerning the Seahawks quirky draft-day behavior.

        And yes, they have been consistently successful the past few years – I attribute that almost completely to RWs understated brilliance. But they were literally dominated by the Rams and (I think) this is a better barometer regarding the team’s real competitiveness.

        As the visible head of the franchise, Paul Allen probably would have taken any actions necessary to avoid the personal embarrassment associated with the franchise being slowly and inexorably run into the ground. Vulcan – as an investment company – is treating the Seahawks as just another business. Except this one is basically a license to make money (TV revenue) and hence no incentive or need to “actively manage” this enterprise. Instead, they can devote their efforts to companies that actually require hands-on management to be successful. So don’t expect any messianic intervention from the propeller-heads at Vulcan anytime soon.

        RW can read the tea leaves and understands where this is headed. For him, the clock is ticking, and out of sheer necessity he needs to leave. And then we’ll see if PC/JS are up to the task of rebuilding a team as they did a decade ago….

        • 2nd place is 1st loser

          Are you sure you’re not confusing the Mariner franchise with the Hawks? Because you don’t have to look far for a franchise that has been run so piss poor than the M’s. Compared to the M’s, the Hawks are truly stellar compared to their neighbors. All teams are a business and all businesses strive to make money. You make some good points, but the arrogant comment is a little rich, hell everyone is arrogant to a degree, it’s human nature. It’s obvious that Seahawks football might not be an acquired taste for your liking. Kraken hockey is just around the corner.

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  • Husky73

    Reed signed with the Chiefs…..”Who owwwwwwwwnnnnsssssss the Chiefs?”

    • jafabian

      Doesn’t current FA and former 12th pick overall DT Danny Shelton live around here in the offseason? Hope he does.

  • BobSmith

    This is what happens when you combine personal arrogance and poor professional advice from your agent. Reed took a huge pay cut to go to KC, quite likely a lot less that he’d have gotten if he’d negotiated with the ‘Hawks (and not stabbed them in the back with his social media activity).

    I for one will not miss him. He only produced when he played alongside a major disruptor (e.g. Dunlap, Clark), and even the sacks he got were due to large numbers of snaps rather than a high win rate. He had one great year, one moderate year, and three stinkers.

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    • art thiel

      It’s still a big payday, and the reduction is a cost of doing business in NFL free agency. He goes to a great team and plays alongside his disrupter pal Clark. But I do agree that his contribution can be compensated, mostly with the return of Al Woods, and more snaps inside from Collier.

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