Seattle Seahawks

Good deal: Seahawks make official they essentially traded Nick Vannett for Quinton Dunbar

The Seahawks are acquiring cornerback Quinton Dunbar from Washington in exchange for draft choices, a league source tells The News Tribune. Dunbar arrives to compete with Tre Flowers for a starting-cornerback job, and perhaps to be an option as a nickel defensive back inside.
The Seahawks are acquiring cornerback Quinton Dunbar from Washington in exchange for draft choices, a league source tells The News Tribune. Dunbar arrives to compete with Tre Flowers for a starting-cornerback job, and perhaps to be an option as a nickel defensive back inside.

Essentially trading Nick Vannett for Quinton Dunbar?

That’s a deal the Seahawks—heck, any team—would make nine days a week, 13 months a year.

Seattle on Tuesday afternoon made official its trade of trade of a fifth-round choice in next month’s draft to Washington in exchange for Dunbar. The Redskins’ starting cornerback last season will get a strong chance to replace Tre Flowers as the Seahawks’ starting cornerback in 2020.

The pick Seattle sent to Washington is 162nd overall in round five. That’s the choice the Seahawks got from Pittsburgh last year, in their trade of tight end Nick Vannett to the Steelers.

A backup tight end scuffling in the final year of a his rookie contract for a potential starter coming off his career-best season at the most difficult position to play in the sport besides quarterback? Within a wash of gained and lost fifth-round picks?

It’s not quite Jadeveon Clowney from Houston for two guys he was about to cut, but Seahawks general manager John Schneider did very well here. Like he did getting Detroit captain Quandre Diggs as his new starting safety for just a fifth-round pick in October.

The deal for Dunbar leaves Seattle with seven picks in next month’s draft. Six are in the first four rounds: at 27th overall in the first round, two choices in the second round, one in the third round, two in the fourth round and one in the sixth.

Dunbar started 11 games last season for 3-13 Washington and had a career-high four interceptions before a hamstring injury sent him to injured reserve. He had 27 starts in five years with the team. He asked for a trade last month rather than endure Washington’s coaching change with new head man Ron Rivera and his staff.

This is the final year of his contract, at a salary of $3.25 million. It’s, for now, that much of financial investment in exchange for a backup who had a limited future in Seattle. Vannett just got $5.7 million on a two-year free-agent contract from Denver last week.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Dunbar has arms longer than 32 inches—32 5/8, to be exact. That’s the well-known standard coach Pete Carroll wants in rangy cornerbacks covering wide receivers outside.

Carroll talked at last month’s NFL scouting combine about the need to increase competition with Flowers at the cornerback spot opposite Pro Bowl cover man Shaquill Griffin. Offenses exploited Flowers in 2019, the second season of Carroll converting him from being a college safety.

Griffin is also entering the final season of his rookie contract.

While they continue to wait on Clowney’s decision to re-sign or leave, the Seahawks made another deal Tuesday. They signed free-agent wide receiver Phillip Dorsett from New England to a one-year contract.

Tuesday was a very good day for the Seahawks. Two plus moves, at minimal, limited cost.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
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