Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar will not be charged in connection with an armed robbery in Miramar, Florida, the state’s attorney announced Friday, putting a legal end to a case that took some bizarre turns and now ends with Seattle potentially getting a key starter back for the 2020 season.
Dunbar had been arrested on four armed-robbery charges, but the state of Florida announced Friday there was not sufficient evidence to pursue the case against Dunbar.
New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker was charged with four counts of robbery with a firearm in the same case. Baker had initially faced stiffer charges than did Dunbar, having also initially faced charges of both armed robbery and aggravated assault.
A charging document released Friday from the Broward State Attorney’s office concluded simply: “There is insufficient evidence to charge Quinton Dunbar in this case. Charges are therefore declined.”
Dunbar remains on a commissioner’s exempt list by the NFL and has not been with the Seahawks as training camp opened late last month, remaining in Miami.
But his attorney, Andrew Rier, told the Seattle Times that the league had been officially notified of the case being dropped through the NFL Players Association and he hoped there could a resolution soon that will allow Dunbar to report to training camp.
An NFL spokesman said in a statement Friday “we have been monitoring all developments in the matter which remains under review.”
Rier said in a phone interview with The Times he had forwarded the league the official documentation from the Broward State’s Attorney office of insufficient evidence, which he said gives optimism that Dunbar will soon be taken off the exempt list.
“As a defense attorney I can’t ask for more than a document from the Broward State Attorney’s office literally stating there is insufficient evidence and therefore charges are declined,” Rier said.
“We are overjoyed, Quinton is overjoyed,” Rier continued. “Quinton was never involved in this case, and the people who made these allegations have issues.”
Dunbar, 28, was acquired from Washington for a 2020 fifth-round pick in March and has been expected to take over the starting job at left cornerback, which last year was held by Tre Flowers.
Dunbar was participating in the team’s virtual offseason training camp from Miami when he was arrested in connection with an armed robbery alleged to have taken place at a party that included an illegal dice game.
Charging documents stated that roughly $12,000 in cash and $61,000 in watches and jewelry were stolen from four men.
Dunbar’s initial attorney, Michael Grieco, then quickly produced affidavits from the four men at the party that he said stated that Dunbar was not involved.
Reports last month then stated that the state was looking into allegations that the affidavits were part of a cover-up scheme and that the four men had been paid a combined $55,000 to change their story.
Grieco then took himself off the case.
Dunbar has one year remaining on his contract, due to make a base salary of $3.25 million in 2020.
He was acquired as part of what has been a massive makeover of the Seahawks’ secondary since midway through the 2019 season.
In October the Seahawks acquired safety Quandre Diggs from Detroit in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick.
Seattle then added Dunbar in March, and last month traded a package that included first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 for safety Jamal Adams of the New York Jets.
Each of those three is expected to start in Seattle’s secondary this season, along with Shaquill Griffin at left cornerback, with the Seahawks hoping they have finally assembled a group that can begin to prove a worthy successor to the famed Legion of Boom.
Dunbar’s legal situation and being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, though, had clouded that optimism.
Dunbar could still receive punishment from the NFL despite the fact charges have been dropped. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed was suspended six games last season for his involvement in a domestic-violence incident in which he was not charged.
Dunbar spent five seasons with Washington before becoming embroiled in a contract dispute with the team, and was then traded by new coach Ron Rivera.
Dunbar held a Zoom meeting with Seattle media on May 14 and said at that time he was not concerned about his contract, saying, “I have no worries in Seattle. … I just want to go out there and play ball.”
A few hours after Dunbar stated those words came the report that he was being investigated in connection with the robbery.
Dunbar surrendered on May 16, two days after the news broke of the robbery.
He had initially taken some time away from the Seahawks’ virtual offseason program but eventually returned, with coach Pete Carroll saying “he is back and participating with us and focusing real well. We’ll see what happens with that.”
The team had hoped Dunbar would be able to take part in camp. Instead, he was placed on the exempt list by the NFL, essentially being indefinitely suspended with pay, though not counting against the team’s 80-man roster limit.
If Dunbar is taken off the list he will then have to go through the same COVID-19 testing process as every player, needing to test negative three times in four days before he can enter the building.
The Seahawks are due to hold their first practice of camp on Aug. 17.