The Cincinnati Bengals Need to Extend Carlos Dunlap
By Larry Horn
Carlos Dunlap is in his contract year with the Cincinnati Bengals. Will he get the 20 million a year that he is worth? Will the Bengals cut or trade Carlos Dunlap to free up 7.3 million.
There is so much evidence that proves that edge rusher Carlos Dunlap deserves a contract extension now. In his rookie year (2010) Dunlap beat a franchise record for most sacks in a rookie season with 9.5 sacks. He has averaged throughout his entire career 8 sacks. He is only 19 sacks away from Eddie Edwards with 83.5 sacks.
Not only has he been a sack machine but he also batted down 15 passes in 2016 and 42 for his career. He had two interceptions both scoring touchdowns. The best stat in my estimation is most quarterback hits. Carlos Dunlap has hit the quarterback 135 times since 2013.
The quarterback hits statistic could be viewed as a more critical stat due to the different results of the play. The result would be having the quarterback rushed out of the pocket too soon. He can be hurried to result in an incompletion or even an interception. Carlos Dunlap responded in so many ways to disrupt most offenses. He creates a lot of double team action because of this.
Let’s look over Carlos Dunlap’s existing contract. In 2013 he signed a 5-year 39.3 million dollar contract extension. That is an average of 8 million dollars a year. In today’s age, that is a vast team friendly contract. Looking at financial rankings, Dunlap has the 18th highest paid average for defensive linemen. He is better than most of the 17 defensive ends in front of him.
The defensive lineman with the best average per year is Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah ($17,143,000). Another player that Dunlap has battled in the sack race in 2015 is Houston Texans J.J. Watt. He is fourth with $16,667,571. With every new year, the contracts get bigger. This is why I think Carlos Dunlap should get at least 20 million a year on average. DeMarcus Lawrence just signed a franchise tag with Dallas for 17.1 million. He is just off his rookie contract. Dunlap has to get paid better than the tag.
The Bengals cap space is over 64 million next season and will continue to grow. The Bengals already decided against restructuring Andy Dalton’s contract which makes me believe they are saving the room for a few players to get contract extensions.
Why Dunlap might not get an extension
His sack totals have gone down since his best year in 2015 when he had 13.5 sacks. He is getting older. He is not getting into so many double-team situations which causes weakness in that part of the defensive line. Teryl Austin, the Bengals new defensive coordinator, wants to have the first wave of defense to be a young and aggressive.
Dunlap has the aggressive, but he is not young. The Bengals also drafted two aggressive powerhouses. Sam Hubbard Edge rusher from Ohio State and Andrew Brown defensive tackle from Virginia are both looking forward to contributing to the Teryl Austin era. Add in the fact that linebacker Carl Lawson went off in his rookie season could also be a factor in the Bengals not re-signing Dunlap.
Next: Andy Dalton's last chance to prove himself
After weighing all the pros and cons, Carlos Dunlap should get an extension. He would be able to retire as a Bengal. The Bengals have already let go of Andrew Whitworth which should have retired as a Bengal. Owner Mike Brown should respect the players for what they did for the organization not value them due to salary cap issues.