The Seahawks have been NFL drama queens almost from the start of the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era, so it’s never that surprising when some crazy news comes along.
But nothing ever done by the likes of rogues Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett or chuckleheads Leroy Hill, Percy Harvin, John Moffitt or Malik McDowell could top the situation Quinton Dunbar finds himself in.
Dunbar’s case (alleged robbery) is still working through the system, with conflicting reports (by the same people) of whether Dunbar was involved. We’ll keep following it and see how it turns out, but it certainly is one of the crazier crime stories ever related to the Seahawks. And they have had a few.
Hopefully Dunbar truly was not involved and does not add his name to a couple of former Seahawks doing prison time.
Brandon Browner (a Legion of Boom original) is serving eight years for attempted murder of his girlfriend; he was just transferred to prison in March (Mike Dugar of The Athletic recently wrote about his troubled life outside football). Also, Tommy Kane, a receiver in 1988-92, was sentenced to 18 years in 2004 for killing his wife. But both of those guys committed their crimes and were incarcerated long after their Seattle days.
The most serious incident by a guy who was still playing for the Seahawks belongs to Brian Blades (who was drafted in 1988 with Kane). The Hawks’ top receiver in the 1990s, Blades was involved in the accidental shooting death of his cousin during a fight over a gun in July 1995. Blades was convicted of manslaughter in June 1996, but the judge quickly overturned the verdict and Blades avoided prison time – returning to play four more seasons before retiring.
There was no social media back then, but that case was the talk of the NFL for over a year — really until the more notorious Rae Carruth and Ray Lewis cases came along in 1999-2000 — and obviously followed Blades for the rest of his career (and life, for that matter).
That Blades case was the horrific lowlight of a 1990s decade that was pretty cursed for the Seahawks. Beloved longtime announcer Pete Gross succumbed to cancer two days after calling a Monday night game against Denver in 1992. Mike Frier was paralyzed in a crash involving a car driven by teammate Lamar Smith in December 1994. Four months later, new coach Dennis Erickson was arrested for DUI. Along the way, owner Ken Behring turned the franchise into a laughingstock on and off the field and tried to steal it away to California in 1996; that was after one of his former Seahawks investors was tried in a murder-for-hire plot in 1990.
Paul Allen saved the Seahawks from Behring and the ’90s, and the Mike Holmgren decade was pretty calm. Other than some issues with domestic violence arrests, the biggest problem was Jerramy Stevens, who remained a horrible citizen after Holmgren stupidly drafted him in 2002. And then he cost the Seahawks a Super Bowl win in 2005, the same year Ken Hamlin was bashed in the head in a brawl in Pioneer Square (that had a major trickle-down effect on Seattle losing that Super Bowl as well). But the 2000s didn’t have nearly the chaos of the 1990s or the Carroll era.
In the last decade, Carroll and Schneider have dealt with a lot of drama: Hill’s various arrests and suspensions; misdemeanor arrests of Moffitt (a troubled guy who was later traded) and a few other players, including Lynch; suspensions of Browner and a few others for PEDs; Harvin punching Golden Tate on the eve of Super Bowl XLVIII; Sherman’s successful drug suspension appeal in 2012 and the ongoing verbal diarrhea that finally got him cut; Bennett’s team disconnect that got him traded (and his odd Vegas and Houston arrests after he left); Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout and career-ending injury in 2017; McDowell’s ATV accident in 2017 (and ensuing criminal issues).
As troublesome as Hill, Moffitt, Harvin and McDowell were off the field, they still never did anything quite like Dunbar was initially accused of last week.
We can only hope Dunbar is indeed innocent and does not follow in McDowell’s footsteps of never playing a down for Seattle — or certainly in the footsteps of the incarcerated Browner and Kane.