Seahawk CB Dunbar onto NFL commissioner’s exempt list

  • Mon Jul 27th, 2020 3:30pm
  • Sports

By Gregg Bell

The News Tribune

After unexpected turns, accusations of victims being bribed, lawyers dropping out and more in his unusual felony case, Quinton Dunbar isn’t going to be playing for the Seahawks for the foreseeable future.

The NFL is going to place Seattle’s presumed new starting cornerback on the commissioner’s exempt list while his armed-robbery case in Florida continues. Pat Leonard, Giants beat writer for the New York Daily News, had that story first on Monday.

Dunbar and Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker, the co-defendant in the case stemming from a house party in May in Broward County, Fla., are both going on the exempt list, per Leonard.

A player on the exempt list is not allowed to practice or attend games. The league does allow him to be in a team facility for meetings, to work out and to receive treatment, if his team allows it. The Seahawks so far have shown and coach Pete Carroll has said they want Dunbar around for as much as the league and judicial system will allow.

A judge in the 17th Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last week granted Dunbar the ability to travel from Florida to the Seattle area to participate in the start of Seahawks training camp.

Going onto the commissioner’s exempt list essentially is a paid suspension from playing. Dunbar and Baker will still get paid per their contracts with the Seahawks and Giants. But they are exempt from the team’s rosters while they are on the list.

That means Seattle, after 10 roster moves this past weekend including its huge trade for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, will be down to the new roster limit of 80 players once Dunbar officially goes onto the exempt list.

That also means Tre Flowers is, for now, getting back his starting job at cornerback opposite 2019 Pro Bowl selection Shaquill Griffin. The Seahawks traded with Washington for Dunbar this offseason, after Flowers’ substandard play at the end of last season as part of the NFL’s 27th-ranked pass defense. The intent was for Dunbar to take Flower’s starting job, with Flowers still likely in the rotation as a possible match-up, fifth defensive back on passing downs.

Now Marquise Blair, the 2019 second-round draft pick, is in line to be a new, bigger option to 5-foot-9 Ugo Amadi as the nickel defensive back. Carroll has mentioned Blair will get a look at that role this training camp.

The Seahawks’ starting secondary, as of Dunbar going on the commissioner’s exempt list, is Griffin and Flowers again at cornerback, with Adams and Quandre Diggs the pairing at safety.

As part of their agreement Friday on COVID-19 testing and protocols for the start of training camps Tuesday, the NFL and its players’ union settled on a new training-camp roster limit of 80. It had been 90 in previous offseasons and through training camps.

Teams have the option of getting down to 80 by the players’ reporting date to camps today, or by the first practice in full pads Aug. 17. The Seahawks are among many teams getting down to 80 now. Teams that keep 90 for the next three weeks must per league coronavirus protocols conduct two sets of training sessions and practices, to be more socially distant. Teams can conduct walkthrough practices among the eight days of strength and conditioning workouts before full practices begin.