If you thought the Seahawks through the first week of free agency forgot they were the NFL’s 26th-ranked defense, they offered a bit of a remedy Monday. Seattle traded a fifth-round pick to Washington for five-year veteran Quinton Dunbar, who had a career-high four interceptions and was ranked the No. 2 cornerback in 2019 by Pro Football Focus.
At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he fits the prototype of Richard Sherman, ranked by PFF as the No. 1 corner. Which makes it seem like a screamin’ deal for Seattle, except he’s in final year of a three-year deal and is coming off an injury.
After the Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden and hired Ron Rivera, Dunbar, 27, learned he wasn’t getting a contract extension, and made it plain he wanted a trade. According to his Instagram post, he’s happy now.
Nice goodbye post to the Redskins and their fans from Quinton Dunbar on his IG page pic.twitter.com/tJPccyhomM
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) March 23, 2020
Dunbar will make $3.25 million, none guaranteed, and Washington is obligated to pay $1 million in bonus money. Pro Football Talk listed the Jaguars, Raiders and Vikings as potential landing spots. But Seattle’s fifth-rounder, obtained from Pittsburgh in the Nick Vannett trade last season, apparently was the best offer for a player who missed the final five games with a hamstring injury.
Dunbar’s acquisition may have an impact on the cornerback unit as the trade for Quandre Diggs did last year among the safeties — stabilization. Second-year CB Tre Flowers was lit up by QB Aaron Rodgers in the playoff game in Green Bay, and his production slid in the season’s second half. Pro Football Reference said he was targeted 101 times, allowing a 60.4% completion rate and a 72.5 passer rating against.
The other starting corner, Shaquill Griffin, is entering his contract year. The slot cornerback spot had three starters last year and remains unsettled.
So if Dunbar can master the Seahawks’ pass-defense technique, he will help fix a weakness made worse by a poor pass rush. That problemwould heal fairly well, should Jadeveon Clowney better understand the marketplace for his services.
Not only did Dunbar miss the last five games of the 2019 season but he only played 7 games in 2018 due to injury. Is a 5th rounder worth another Ziggy Ansah? Overall I thought Tre Flowers had a good season, in some respects maybe even better than Shaq Griffin who went to the Pro Bowl. But the Packers playoff game is still remembered. I don’t know if the two phantom penalty calls called on him in their October matchup weighed on him or that Ugo Amadi was having an equally poor game affected him. Or both. Maybe Flowers can convert to nickel.
A fiffh isn’t much for an upgrade to a top-shelf veteran — if healthy. And no acquiring teams can know about health without a physical.