Cory's Corner: Carlos Dunlap Provides Answers

The two-time Pro Bowler has averaged nine sacks a season in the last three years. 

What is the one thing that the Packers desperately needed last year? More defensive line depth. 

Voila! 

Carlos Dunlap was released by the Seahawks on Monday afternoon. The 32-year-old defensive end had his worst season of his career this past year, but it was still better than Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster. Seattle cut him loose because it didn't want to pay his $14 million cap hit, while paying absolutely nothing in dead money once released. 

But, in order for this move to happen, Preston Smith needs to be released. The Packers can save $8 million by letting him go and putting some of that money towards Dunlap. 

Dunlap has played in six playoff games and lost them all. That's what starting your career in Cincinnati will get you. He obviously wants to win a Super Bowl and if he's teamed up with Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary, that is a reality. 

The reason why Dunlap would make such an immediate impact is because he has tallied at least 20 hurries in every season, aside from his rookie campaign. And most importantly, he is stout at stopping the run and he is a sure tackler.

The Packers cap situation still looks bleak. According to OverTheCap.com, they are still $11.4 million over the projected cap. Aaron Rodgers will redo his deal and that will save some money, however, in order to get over the hump and win the NFC, the Packers will need to do it through free agency. 

Green Bay picks No. 29 in the upcoming NFL Draft and they aren't going to get a dynamic defensive lineman that low. The NFL game may appear to be all flash, but you still have to win both lines of scrimmage in order to win. It all comes down to protecting the quarterback and getting to the quarterback. 

Adding Dunlap cements Green Bay's defensive front seven and will only make the secondary stronger. It will also afford general manager Brian Gutekunst the freedom to take a cornerback in the first round. 

Last year, the defense had plenty of questions. Dunlap provides some answers. 

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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4 points

Comments (44)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
croatpackfan's picture

March 09, 2021 at 06:54 am

Well he is 32. And Packers are not the only one in this pool. Still we do not know what will be salary cap for 2020. This is absurd situation, shame on NFL. Teams do not know the final number and they can not negotiated any player because they do not know how much they can spend.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 09, 2021 at 03:07 pm

"shame on NFL."

It's pathetic. They should just push back the league year until the budget.

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NickPerry's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:03 am

Man o man Cory, I'm not sure a 32 year old D-Lineman is the fix the Packers need at this point. IMO the Packers best way to use FA is to sign a veteran CB who might be will to take less or even a youngish CB like William Jackson for example. Then the Packers could maybe sign a guy like Mike Penel (Just another example...Trying to make a point) who wouldn't cost much to help the run defense.

The reason WHY I think this is best is IMO it opens up the draft for the Packers big time. If Gute stays put at 29 (doubtful) he wouldn't have to reach for a CB which right now is the most obvious need on the Packers. Sign a FA who could step in and play right away allows the Packers to REALLY take the BPA. The Packers have needs. They could take a Tackle, CB, or even a WR with that 29th pick. If they take an OT for example Gute can take a CB in the 2nd or 3rd who wouldn't have to start day one or at least could play fewer snaps while he adjusts to the NFL.

I CAN'T WAIT until FA starts this year. What Gute does this next week to 10 days leading up to FA are going to tell us a lot of what he might do in FA. The Packers need cap space. Redo Rodgers contract, extend Davante Adams and Zadaris Smith and you've done a lot to get some space to operate. It would be nice to KEEP Preston Smith if they could redo that contract somehow. I've said it before and call me crazy but Preston Smiths entire career has been on one year, off the next. He was ON in 2019, OFF in 2020, he'll be ON again in 2021. It would be awesome if that's in GB.

The Packers time is NOW. Lets get some urgency going at 1265 Lombardi.

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murf7777's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:55 am

I like the idea of a veteran CB. Just maybe they are working on a Preston Smith trade with a team who is thinking of releasing a good CB with comparable SC implications. Maybe New England’s Stephon Gilmore?

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Fabio's picture

March 09, 2021 at 11:49 am

Hi Murf !!
I hope so since the season is over !!!! The only problem is to understand if NE also wants compensation choices .......
Unfortunately I think instead that BG will extend Smith to make room in the cap ..... (and we will still be with the old problems)
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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NickPerry's picture

March 10, 2021 at 07:10 am

Hi murf7777... I actually heard that same idea and I have to admit I LOVE it. Could you imagine a secondary with Alexander, Gilmore, Amos, and Savage? On top of that the salaries due Gilmore and Smith would be very close to the same $$$...

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dobber's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:23 am

A poor man's J.J. Watt.

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marpag1's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:48 am

I, too, am a poor man's JJ Watt. A very, very poor man's JJ Watt.

Just say no to expensive old farts who want to see if they can still squeeze somebody for one more contract.

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dobber's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:23 am

Winner!

I'm Spartacus!
...NO! I'm Spartacus!

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stockholder's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:29 am

If anybody should be signed it's Dalvin Tomlinson Dt Giants.

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PeteK's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:29 am

Ding ding ding , yes. Unfortunately we might not have enough cap space.

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Since'61's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:29 am

Stockholder, Agree, I doubt if we can afford him given our cap space. But as I posted a few weeks back Tomlinson would be my choice of the available DLs. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 09, 2021 at 03:11 pm

If they drop P.Smith and Lowry they can move on Leonard Williams as the DE from the Giants. Maybe Gettleman resigns the guy?

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scullyitsme's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:50 am

Tomlinson is pretty much a run defender. Why would we break the bank for a run defender? Big run defenders aren’t that hard to come by. If we are paying big bucks we should get a 3 down player. We can always pickup a cheap vet to stop the run.

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Guam's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:38 am

Everyone keeps recommending high priced free agents for the Packers to sign without having any idea if the Pack will have the cap space to do so. The Packers need to clear at least $20 million in cap space to (1) get under the likely max cap, (2) sign their draft class, and (3) have some cap space for in-season injury replacements. They will have to clear more than $20 million if they want to sign any free agents. Let's see what Gute does in the next ten days or so before we recommend any more players the Pack can't afford.

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stockholder's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:46 am

I recommended a trade. But too many packer fans have closed minds. Funchess just took a pay cut. So say goodbye to WR @29. It's CB all the way. Why did Gute take Jackson? Answer. He doesn't read the cheesehead TV draft Guide.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

March 09, 2021 at 07:57 am

Why did Gute draft Rashan Gary? RAS and he doesn't read the CHTV draft guide.

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dobber's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:30 am

From the 2018 CHTV Draft Guide Re: Josh Jackson, the #1 CB in position rankings:
"The Packers clearly do not shy away from adding players without much experience at the cornerback position (see: Sam Shields, Damarious Randall, Quentin Rollins). However, Jackson already looks polished enough playing corner that one might believe he’s been playing it his whole life, with room to grow even further. His strengths (press man, Cover-3 defending deep routes, winning jump balls) play exactly into what the Packers traditionally look for in their corners. It would be hard to find a better fit for the Packers among this class’ defensive prospects than Josh Jackson."

Perhaps he read the draft guide TOO closely...

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Since'61's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:32 am

This is just another example of why I don't pay any attention to the alleged draft pundits. Thanks, Since '61

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flackcatcher's picture

March 09, 2021 at 04:02 pm

So brutal... (saying that as a guy who liked the pick)

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Stroh's picture

March 09, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Yeah, that CHTV draft profile was written by a fan , not a scout. It neglected to mention Jackson is a Zone CB only. I watched his positional drills and he looked terrible in backpedal and flipping his hips to turn and run!

Sorry to say, but I could easily write a better profile on a player. Jackson was a bust the day the Packers drafted him! He needed to go to a zone cover scheme like Seattle Cover 3.

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PeteK's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:34 am

Dreaming is fun at this time of the season, until the light of reality wakes us up.

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Guam's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:25 am

I guess I am just a grinch...... Waking up from the dream can reveal a harsh reality.

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Handsback's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:10 am

Giants need a pass rusher, Green Bay needs a run stopper tackle. Maybe Smith for Tomlinson trade is in the works.

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dobber's picture

March 09, 2021 at 08:26 am

Giants would need to sign him first. He's not currently under contract.

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Packman60's picture

March 09, 2021 at 10:11 am

Tomlinson would have to be franchised to be traded as he is a free agent. A franchise tag would put him out of the Packers price range.

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dobber's picture

March 09, 2021 at 10:18 am

Tomlinson would have to sign the tag and the Packers would have to have a new contract worked out for him when he arrived.

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ItsRobAck's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:20 am

With the Funchess pay-cut I definitely think Packers will be going CB at 29, with or without Dunlap

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Since'61's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:35 am

Not many actual comments about Dunlap. The fact is he could be a nice addition to our DL if the Packers could sign him to a one year, two at the most, deal. He would be better than Lancaster or Lowry. Tomlinson would be my first choice but Dunlap should be cheaper and maybe a year rental player. Thanks, Since '61

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Stroh's picture

March 09, 2021 at 10:15 pm

No he wouldn't be be better than Lancaster or Lowry. Dunlap is an edge rusher not a 34 DL that can play DT and stop the run! Any NFL fan would know this! Dunlap is a slightly bigger, older version of Preston Smith. He is not an interior DL in any way, shape or form!

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Since'61's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:36 am

Sorry double post.

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Fabio's picture

March 09, 2021 at 11:59 am

Hello ... since '61
As I have said several times in my opinion the first need must go either to help Clark or ILB or Cb (cheering for Gilmoure via P. Smith exchange)
In the last period, however, the hypothesis is taking place in me that this year we will not sign any FA (if not a second / third low cost option), we will free our FAs and use only the Draft and we will postpone everything to next season ( if BG knows the meaning of all-in)
Greetings from Italy
GPG

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Packers0808's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:58 am

Don't see happening!

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Razer's picture

March 09, 2021 at 10:05 am

Carlos Dunlap provides answers? He obviously didn't have any answers in Seattle. Maybe Dunlap can figure out how the cap-strapped Packers can afford him, a draft class, seasonal adjustment funding and such. Dunlap will only provide the question of why.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 09, 2021 at 01:07 pm

No.

We’re going to be able to get a better, cheaper alternative to Dunlap in the draft.

Cutting Preston Smith is essentially saying “We are willing to pay you $8 million to NOT play for us, but we won’t pay $16 million to actually play for us. I think that’s borderline foolish. We may be forced to do this to get under the cap, but we shouldn’t do this so we can acquire some costly old guy.

The trade talk is interesting. Preston Smith is probably going to be a better player than some Day Two draft pick over the next four years, so then we’d just be spending $8 million for a pick. That’s less destructive than just paying him $8 million to play for a rival..

Xxxxxxxxx.

Upon further review, if we’re able to keep Smith for one more season, we could release him then and gain $12 million in cap savings and only pay him $4 million to play for somebody else.

And here’s an idea that nobody will like: We could trade Adams, probably get a first round pick in return, and save over $13 million, and that would put us about $8 million UNDER the cap. We could use the pick to draft a superduper WR, and we could possibly entertain the idea of resigning Williams, or Linsley.

Adams is awesome, but if he’s replaced with a good rookie it probably improves the WR unit for the future (Love) I don’t think it will happen because I believe The Plan involves going with him for one more year.

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scullyitsme's picture

March 09, 2021 at 02:00 pm

Might as well trade Rodgers if your trading Adams. I guarantee Rodgers will tell the packers to screw off and trade him if anyone even mentions trading adams.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 09, 2021 at 02:14 pm

No offense, but neither of us knows what Rodgers would do.

In 2022, it will cost us ~$55 million to put Rodgers and Adams on the field. I’m not sure we’re gonna do that.

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PeteK's picture

March 09, 2021 at 06:30 pm

I know what you're getting at ,but let's see what happens in 2021. Rogers is becoming a bargain, look at Prescott's contract.

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PeteK's picture

March 09, 2021 at 04:53 pm

You have been toking too much ,put the weed pipe away Head. LOL

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 09, 2021 at 05:17 pm

Or not enough.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 09, 2021 at 04:16 pm

Got to believe the Packers are working their draft board hard. It would not be surprising, if they have some version of a free agent board that Gute and his team is working hard too. Like Croat said. The NFL screwed up big time on the Cap. Figuring out how to get under what is a moving target is difficult at best. Signing FA like Dunlap is close to impossible in the current structure, even if the Packers wanted to. Glad I'm not Gute.

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PeteK's picture

March 09, 2021 at 05:04 pm

If it's any year to rely on the draft it's this year. 2020 was a mediocre draft and we still got at least 3 starters out of it. Yes, this year we have needs in harder to fill positions , but still our needs are 2nd CB, RT, a stout DT. These positions could be filled with a solid draft anything more would be great.

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Stroh's picture

March 09, 2021 at 09:50 pm

Come on. Dunlap is a bigger older version of Preston Smith. He's more of a 43 DE, not suited to play DL in a 34 D. He's been an edge rusher throughout his career. So you would cut a 34 OLB/Edge rusher, taking dead money and replacing him with another edge rusher! How does that make sense?! I've never seen him drop inside and play DT against the run. This doesn't help the Packers.

Anyone who watches the NFL, not just the Packers would know Dunlap and his game. He's not in anyway the DL the Packers need!!

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CoachDino's picture

March 11, 2021 at 01:22 am

1) Run defense wasn't the issue from the Tenn game on. Same Dline
2) The NFCCG exposed King and Sullivan as the biggest Liabilities on def must address with day 1 starter.
3) Signed Snacks - Didn't make a difference.
4) The NFCCF exposed OT as the biggest liability on Offense
5) Wagner (RT) CL (C) Bak (LT) are either gone or at min won't be ready day 1
6) Patrick didn't impress nor Runyan (not sucking and being a quality Starting OL are 2 different things). Is mostly serviceable acceptable?
7) Zero proven depth for OL on current Roster
8) 27th Worst cap Situation - its not just kinda bad....
9) You have your #1 WR and CB coming up for Top$ Contracts
10) You only play 2 DL on the majority of snaps and Keke has played well, is young, can rush the QB and is CHEAP
11) If you cut Preston you need another edge more than a Dlineman.
12) You can't "extend", "restructure", Cut your way to the SB. Yes, the cap is going up,up,up down the road but your going to be in even worse shape with what will still be a SB Contender making every year a cutting again, no FA $ year.
13) Draft a Run Stuffer only. Some of the best are still available on Day 3. Why because most teams are just like the packers, even more so if playing a 3-4 base, that you don't get value from them.
14) Not all DT are meant to play 3 or 5 tech. It has to be a scheme fit.
15) You already have your NT that can rush the passer, that's what makes him so valuable. IS he so much better than others at 3 tech or 5 tech in base? I don't know, but important

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