Seahawks release defensive end Carlos Dunlap

Seattle Seahawks v Washington Football Team

The Seattle Seahawks released defensive end Carlos Dunlap on Monday.

Dunlap, who turned 32 on February 28, was carrying a salary cap number of just over $14 million for the 2021 season.

According to multiple reports, the release of Dunlap had been expected as a collective agreement between the two sides should a contract extension not be reached ahead of free agency.

"Seahawks are releasing Damn Dunlap II after doing everything he was traded to do...," Dunlap wrote in a statement on his instagram page.

"My time there speaks for itself and I’ll say it here. Grateful for the opportunity, Seattle trade helped me grow in many ways. Still would love to play in front of the 12’s, experience Seattle when things are open, but this is what it is right now.

"The Passion will continue, it’s clear I ain’t done turning up yet....

"Thank You Seattle. To The Coaches, Front Office, My Teammates, To Valet Dude from day 1, The City, My Realtor, and The Great Family that allowed me to get comfortable in there beautiful condo in sky. All of you played a role, grateful for it all."

The Seahawks acquired Dunlap in a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals last October. Seattle sent offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a seventh-round draft pick to Cincinnati in exchange for Dunlap.

Dunlap was revitalized in Seattle after being pushed aside by the Bengals. He had five sacks in eight games played for the Seahawks last season and helped spark a defensive resurgence in the second half of the year. With Dunlap onboard, the Seahawks defense went from being among the worst in NFL history over the first eight weeks of the season to being a solid unit the second half of the year.

Per, Dunlap was set to make $10.1 million in base salary in 2021 with a $3 million roster bonus due on March 22. He also had $500,000 in workout bonuses and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses.

While the salary cap for the 2021 season and yet to be cemented between the NFL and NFL Players' Association, the release of Dunlap is expected to give the Seahawks around $20 million in salary cap space with free agency set to begin on March 17 with the two-day negotiating window opening on March 15.

While free agency doesn't begin until then, Dunlap's release allows for him to speak with other teams immediately.

Photo Credit: LANDOVER, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 20: Shaquill Griffin #26, Quandre Diggs #37 and Carlos Dunlap #43 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrate a defensive stop against the Washington Football Team at FedExField on December 20, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

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