Word trickled out last night that outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar had agreed to a contract extension with the Rams worth $3.5 million spread over two years.
Now it’s official.
— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) March 14, 2014
Dunbar was a valuable addition to the Rams in 2012 and was arguably the team’s most dynamic linebacker that year. Then he got suspended for four games at the start of 2013 for violating the league’s PED policy, and his career seemed to be falling apart.
He was called “selfish” by head coach Jeff Fisher and was subsequently released. Dunbar sat on the free agent scrap pile during his suspension but got no bites, so the Rams re-signed him once his suspension was over. However, Dunbar seemed to have lost a step, not to mention his spot as the team’s primary outside linebacker thanks to Alec Ogletree’s arrival.
Still, the contract is a pretty good value for the Rams. Plus Dunbar started his career with the New Orleans Saints, who employed new Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 2009-2011. So there’s a level of familiarity there.
Will it translate into productivity, or will this be another case of the Rams being to loyal to aging players who used to be good (a.k.a. Cortland Finnegan Syndrome). That remains to be seen.