SNIDER: Dunbar dilemma is far reaching for Redskins

Rick Snider
February 11, 2020 - 4:37 pm
Quinton Dunbar dilemma is far reaching for Redskins

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Quinton Dunbar isn't seeing the field correctly. The Redskins cornerback reportedly wants to be traded or released with one year remaining on his contract. He's tired of being a bargain player.

Sorry, Trent Williams has first dibs on that claim and there's no way the Redskins cave into Dunbar's request for fear it completely blows their chances of retaining Williams. After all, if the Pro Bowl left tackle sees the team cutting a deal with an unhappy non-Pro Bowl player, he'll never return after holding out last season.

Williams reportedly met with Redskins coach Ron Rivera recently, so there's still hope Williams returns, though surely with a new contract.

Dunbar's resume doesn't scream big money. He was an undrafted free agent in 2015 who signed a minimum $1.57 million deal over three years with a $1,000 bonus, which is usually for expenses until offseason camps. Midway through preseason, Dunbar was moved from receiver to cornerback, a transition that surely saved his NFL career. Dunbar started the season on the practice squad, but was soon elevated to the main roster.

Dunbar was a solid reserve in 2016-17 and became a regular in 2018 when receiving a three-year, $10.5 million deal with a $3 million bonus. The only problem is Dunbar missed nine games in 2018 and five more last season.

With no guaranteed money left in his final year, Dunbar is playing Williams' game and looking for a new deal, knowing the team is vulnerable. The Redskins are short on corners, especially given Josh Norman likely won't be retained for his final year. Washington's secondary has safety Landon Collins and that's it. Surely the Redskins want to keep Dunbar.

Then again, Rivera won't be dictated to by a player who has played well when healthy but is not a Pro Bowler. The team sure won't be stared down while trying to keep Williams, too. It's just a bad look.

It would be easy to just say heck with it – get rid of Dunbar. But, the Redskins aren't flush with good players, so both the team and player need to take a breath. The team needs to get Williams back or traded, and then it can deal with Dunbar. He's due a raise, but can't get too greedy given two straight injured years. The same is really true for Williams, too.

Bottom line – the Redskins were probably 3-13 with or without Williams last season. Their record will probably be a losing one this fall regardless of Dunbar staying or leaving. So, players shouldn't overvalue their overall worth. Life in the NFL is short and too many players make it shorter by not seeing the big picture – everybody's replaceable.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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