While the world wrung its collective hands over the uncertain future of Russell Wilson earlier this offseason, Carlos Dunlap prepared to face a much more legitimate uncertainty of his own.
The veteran defensive end and 2020 midseason acquisition of the Seahawks was headed toward free agency and a market in which he'd be coveted after Seattle released him. He just wasn't sure whether the team that made an effort to acquire him would do it again to keep him.
Weeks later, he got his answer, re-signing with the Seahawks on a two-year, $13.6 million deal at the end of March. Part of what convinced him was Wilson's status, which he said Tuesday was cemented for 2021.
"I did ask him if obviously he was going to be with us, because if I'm coming back, I'm coming back because I see him as my quarterback -- and the rest of the team, I want to pick up where we left off," Dunlap said. "He told me that he's with us and he's here to stay. He said, 'Let's go Hawks!' and I'm not going to quote his every word, these words are not his words verbatim, but these are my explanation of what I interpreted what he said."
Maybe it's like a pinky promise, with Wilson only really meaning it if he ends his promise with some variation of "go 'Hawks," or maybe Dunlap was just making a joke. Either way, Wilson's intimation that he will be back should comfort nervous Seahawks fans who'd heard his name included in trade rumors for the last month or longer.
While Wilson is under contract and remains a Seahawk until the moment he isn't, after weeks of rumors involving Wilson's unhappiness and a list of his desired destinations, a bit of fence-mending via the return of a teammate is a good boost in a positive direction.
Oh, and regarding Dunlap, his teammates are done icing him out. He told reporters his fellow Seahawks defensive linemen have added him back to the group chat.