8:23 PM ET

Brady Henderson

Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Dunlap passes to Jarran Reed.

A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the team would have to trade or fire Reed, which would save nearly $9 million on the salary cap. Agent Drew Rosenhaus told Schefter that Dunlap’s contract is for two years and $16.6 million with $8.5 million guaranteed.

Dunlap, 32, became a free agent when Seattle fired him earlier this month. That saved $14.1 million in the budget, but robbed the Seahawks of one of their most influential defensive linemen.

Dunlap helped boost the Seahawks’ offense when he came over from the Cincinnati Bengals in October. He recorded five sacks and 15 QB hits in nine games, including the playoffs. He missed one game with a foot injury and spent some of his time in Seattle. He had six tackles and four pass defenses for the Seahawks.

To facilitate his transfer to Seattle, Dunlap agreed to a contract revision with the understanding that the Seahawks would fire him and release him if the two sides could not agree on an extension. This restructuring brought the 2021 cap to a prohibitive $14.1 million.

The Seahawks thought by releasing Dunlap they had a chance to contract him to a bigger team, which they did. One of the reasons his return seemed possible was his affection for the Seahawks. He spoke openly about getting organized after the swap and said he felt rejuvenated in his new surroundings.

I want to stay in Seattle until they accept me, he said after the Seahawks sank into a maelstrom of wild cards. It was very clear why I came here and how long I would stay. So it’s a conversation now, and I’m open and welcoming. You already know how grateful I am to be here. They took care of it. I think it’s a great veteran organization, even though as a young player I feel young and fresh. I feel like I have a lot of balls left, and I would love to be in an organization like this.

My two goals are the Super Bowl and 100 sacks, and I haven’t accomplished either of them. I haven’t won a single playoff game. I think we have everything we need to do it next season, and I would love to be involved.

That love was evident Thursday night when he tweeted his reaction to the deal – and teammate Russell Wilson followed later.

A year 12! -Damn Dunlap, the passion continues….

– Carlos Dunlap (@Carlos_Dunlap) March 26, 2021

YAY OOOH!!! @Carlos_Dunlap is back!

– Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 26, 2021

Dunlap’s 87.5 regular season sacks ranks 12th among active players in his career, according to Pro Football Reference. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and ’16. The Bengals were 0-5 in the playoffs during his time in Cincinnati.

Earlier in the week, Seattle reached a deal with two more baseball players: They brought back Benson Mayowa and added Kerry Hyder. Those two plus Dunlap, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor give the Seahawks a deep group of edge players.

However, Reed’s expected departure will leave a void on the defensive line.

Reed, 28, has been a full-time starter since 2017, a year after Seattle selected him in the second round out of Alabama. He was mostly known as a pass rusher in his first two seasons, but he notched 10.5 sacks in 2018. He began the 2019 season with a six-game suspension for an NFL personal conduct violation and finished the year with two sacks in 10 games.

Last March, the Seahawks signed Reed to a two-year, $23 million contract, gambling that he would be able to regain his 2018 form. He had some rebounding with 6.5 sacks in 16 games, but he should fetch nearly $14 million on cap. Reed’s departure brings $5 million in dead money, whether it’s a trade or a resignation. The Seahawks have just three picks in next month’s draft (in the second, fourth and seventh rounds), giving them incentive to find a trade partner for Reed.

He said goodbye to the Seahawks on Thursday and wrote on Twitter:

12s✌ tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., we officially move on to the next chapter…..

– jarran reed (@jarranreed) March 25, 2021

Poon Ford, who played with Reed the past two seasons, signed a two-year contract with Seattle earlier this month as a restricted free agent. Brian Mone has been declared an exclusive rights free agent. The other two true defensive linemen on Seattle’s roster are Cedric Lattimore and Miles Adams, second-year players each with NFL experience.

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