The Seattle Seahawks sent a ripple through the NFL on Monday, acquiring cornerback Quinton Dunbar from the Washington Redskins for a fifth-round pick.
Let’s look at this deal through a few different lenses.
Dunbar was Washington’s top corner and played at a high-level last season when healthy, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 total cornerback. He did a tremendous job on a porous Redskins team, nabbing four interceptions in just 11 games. Dunbar is a long, physical defensive back and his history as a receiver also gives him unique ball skills that he was able to use consistently. He’s not perfect by any means, but he has proven to be a valuable starting commodity in a league currently lacking depth at the corner position.
This one is tough.
Dunbar has wanted to leave for quite some time, which means that Washington had extremely limited leverage in this situation. His contract also expires after the upcoming 2020 season and was all but gone at the end of the year. Calais Campbell and Jurrell Casey — other quality, veteran starters — netted similar returns earlier in the off-season, so it seems like Dunbar was traded at fair value.
However, both Campbell and Casey were much more expensive and play lesser positions. A quality starting corner should fetch at least a fourth-round selection, even with the trade demands Dunbar possessed. Yes, Washington was in a tricky spot, but this ultimately an underwhelming return, especially when they just parted with a different fifth-round pick for quarterback Kyle Allen on Monday.
Instant reaction grade: C
From the Seahawks, this almost seems too good to be true. Head coach Pete Carroll loves defensive backs, particularly those with length.
Dunbar, who measures in at 6-foot-2 with nearly 33-inch arms, fits the Seattle mold to perfection and will be able to slide in seamlessly at the outside corner alongside Shaquem Griffin. Dunbar is a major upgrade on current starter Tre Flowers and his playmaking presence is also a much-needed addition to Seattle’s mediocre secondary, which has fallen off dramatically in recent years. He’s a former college receiver — just like Richard Sherman — and you can bet Carroll is enticed by his interception upside.
Quandre Diggs rejuvenated the Seahawks last season, and this move is likely to garner similar results. At the end of the day, parting with a fifth-round pick is extremely little, even if Dunbar ends up as a first-year rental. He’s dirt cheap this season and other much inferior players like Allen and Nick Vannett have gone for similar prices. Vannett actually, who Seattle traded for a fifth-round pick at the deadline, was essentially swapped for Dunbar.
Instant reaction grade: A