The St. Louis Rams have released LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar one of their bigger free agent signings from last season. About a month ago Dunbar was suspended the first four weeks due to violating NFL’s PED policy, now he may be sitting out the rest of the season.
This move may come as a shock to some, but during the press conference discussing Dunbar’s suspension, Fisher did not seem too happy about the suspension. He acted differently than he had to different suspensions which means there could have been more to the situation than the public was told about. Fisher hinted that Dunbar would have to work to make the team and that his spot was not guaranteed.
Dunbar was set to make $1.3 million this season before the suspension and after the suspension was set to make just under a million. He will save the Rams some cap space, but not a significant amount.
The release of Dunbar may hurt the Rams defense a little bit as Dunbar brought a lot to the defense last season. Dunbar recorded 115 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, and 13 stuffs. Those stats are hard to replace, Witherspoon is a veteran, but it is hard to replace those stats.
Another reason for Dunbar’s release may be Ray Ray Armstrong. For an undrafted rookie of all things, Armstrong had a heck of a preseason, and impressed a lot of people. Armstrong was all over the field and was in on every play. The coaches must feel pretty confident in what Armstrong brings to the table. Armstrong was 7th on the team in total tackles in the preseason and had one of the teams five sacks. Armstrong also plays with a lot of energy which is always a nice addition to a defense. Don’t be surprised if Armstrong gets some first team reps at some point this season.
The release of Dunbar may be shocking, but not surprising. Fisher did this for a reason, and already has a backup plan in place, whether it’s with Witherspoon now, or Armstrong or somebody else in the future.This is just another one of those moments when you just have to trust Fisher’s judgement.