While the Seattle Seahawks continue to play the waiting game with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, they’ve bolstered their secondary by agreeing to acquire cornerback Quinton Dunbar in a trade with the Washington Redskins, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Seattle is giving up a fifth-round pick for Dunbar.
Dunbar, 27, has one season left on his contract with a base salary of $3.25 million plus $250,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
The Seahawks needed help at cornerback after Tre Flowers‘ struggles on the right side last season. Left cornerback Shaquill Griffin made the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season but is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Dunbar made 11 starts last season and 25 over five years with Washington, which signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2015. He has nine career interceptions and six over the past two seasons.
Dunbar fits well with what Seattle likes: A long corner with speed. That’s what prompted the Redskins to have Dunbar switch from receiver in his rookie season of 2015. He had little chance to make the roster as a receiver, but he became an intriguing player as a corner for those reasons.
Dunbar worked his way up depth chart because he had physical attributes and impressed teammates with his study habits. He worked to become a smarter corner. He was initially viewed as someone who played better strictly in man coverage, but his work enabled him to handle zone as well. He became the full-time starting corner in 2018, but had nerve damage in his leg and missed nine games. This past season Dunbar missed five games because of more injuries.
Regardless, Dunbar wanted a raise, and the Redskins did not want to restructure his contract considering they have a new coaching staff in place. They wanted to get to know him better to gauge his value.
Seattle’s cornerbacks — including nickelbacks — combined for only three interceptions both in 2018 and 2019. All three last year came from Flowers, who was up-and-down in his second season and did not play well in the Seahawks’ two playoff games.
The trade leaves the Seahawks with seven draft picks: a first, two seconds, a third, two fourths and a sixth.
The Seahawks hope to re-sign Clowney, who was their most disruptive defensive lineman in 2019. But he’s seeking a deal worth around $20 million per season, sources told ESPN, and no team has been willing to go that high.
ESPN staff writer John Keim contributed to this report.