Dunlap signs extension with Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals showed a vote of confidence in former Fort Dorchester star Carlos Dunlap this week in the form of a lucrative contract extension.
On Tuesday, officials with the NFL team announced Dunlap had signed a five-year contract extension. According to bengals.com, the extension will result in an average of $8 million per year in new money for the defensive end who was drafted by Cincinnati in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
“I’m glad we were able to get this deal done so I can be with them for the long haul,” Dunlap said during a conference call with the media Tuesday afternoon. “I’m grateful that the Bengals feel this confident in me and I’m looking forward to the season. I’m excited about this team, especially this defensive line.”
Dunlap proved himself a dynamic playmaker in his first three seasons with the Bengals but struggled with injuries so the size of his contract came as a pleasant surprise.
“This is not ordinary deal by any means,” Dunlap said. “I haven’t even really started for the Bengals so I’m excited. … They feel like my best football is a head of me, as well as I do.”
The 6-6, 280-pound Dunlap was named the starter at the left end position prior to last season but was then injured in a pre-season game against the Jets. Dunlap, who recently celebrated his 24th birthday, only has two career starts with the Bengals. However, he played in 14 games last season and in 12 games in both 2010 and 2011.
He has 87 NFL career tackles, including 63 solo tackles and 20 sacks. He has also forced four fumbles and recovered five fumbles.
Among his NFL highlights are a pair of sack-and-strips of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in a game last year that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and a 14-yard interception return for a TD that clinched a Cincinnati win over Baltimore last year.
The contract extension is a pretty good indication Dunlap will see more action in the years to come. Dunlap says that is certainly one of his goals.
“I’m more motivated now than ever,” he said.
As far as the injuries, he is hoping they are behind him.
“I wouldn’t relate any of my injuries to my conditioning,” Dunlap said. “I feel like the Bengals (organization) and my teammates know I always (arrive) in the best shape conditioning wise. I’ve just had a string of bad luck. But I’ve stepped up my off the field activities. I’ve learned from the vets and taken things from their (routines) and added them to my own.”
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