Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap sees the same headlines as fans — defensive
coordinators keep passing on the job.
Dunlap isn’t a fan of the development, either:
Dunlap is referencing Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and defensive coordinator candidate Jack Del
Rio deciding not to link up. Dom Capers also reportedly turned down a chance at the job. Taylor has
since dramatically expanded the search with some interesting names.
But it isn’t hard to see where Dunlap is coming from here. The Bengals defense boasts droves of
talented pass rushers such as himself, Geno Atkins and Carl Lawson. And the secondary has some
elite players like William Jackson, not to mention possible future stars such as Jessie Bates.
Rest assured Dunlap and the defense will embrace whoever comes to town.
There are several Bengals players up for extensions this season, but few are more valuable than
Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap has been a crucial member of the Bengals since he came to the team in 2010.
Now, after the Bengals have squeezed surplus value off his rookie contract and first extension, he
’s finally ready for a payday.
Now, one of the big storylines from camp is whether Dunlap will get an extension before the season
starts. During Bengals camp yesterday, reporters noted that Dunlap was speaking with owner Mike
Brown. Dunlap’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was also in town and at camp. Rosenhaus appeared to be
engaged in the conversations with Dunlap and Brown – he posted a picture of himself with Dunlap
and Brown on Instagram. If the three are already having conversations about an extension, it is
definitely possible Dunlap could receive a contract before the start of the season.
Dunlap’ recent performance certainly merits a large contract. His first three seasons in the
league were nothing to frown at, but he’s only improved since then. Over the last five years,
Dunlap has been a model of consistency for the Bengals. He has not had a season with fewer than 46
tackles since 2013, nor a season with fewer than 7.5 sacks. In 2015, he recorded 13.5 sacks – a
career high. Dunlap has stated that his goal this season is to break that career high, which is a
If Dunlap continues to play as well as he has, he will be in line for one of the richest extensions
in football for a defensive end. The top end contracts currently pay around $15 million, like
Calais Campbell of the Jaguars. Other elite rushers come in a little lower, like Everton Griffen at
$14.5 million or Cameron Jordan at $11 million. Olivier Vernon leads the way at $17 million a year,
but I don’t expect Dunlap to get that kind of money from the Bengals.
Entering his age 29 season, a 4 year extension for Dunlap seems very reasonable. If the Bengals
only give Dunlap 4 years instead of 5 or 6 years, they will probably have to pay up a little bit. A
good extension for Dunlap would be something like 4 years, $60 million – paying him $15 million a
year like an elite defensive end. Anything over $50 million for 4 years would be reasonable.
Hopefully, with Rosenhaus in town, the Bengals and Dunlap can work something out to keep him in
Cincinnati for the foreseeable future. The quicker, the better.