Jo-Lonn Dunbar

Workout Notes: 12/8/15

There were a plethora of workouts around the NFL today. Here they are:

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/23/15

Monday’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • Washington signed TE Je’Ron Hamm off the practice squad and released fellow tight end Anthony McCoy, John Keim of writes. Washington signed McCoy on September 7th and he played in six games while being inactive for the last three. McCoy did not give Washington the kind of blocking that they had hoped for but they’re likely not expecting that out of Hamm, either, since he is more of a receiving tight end.
  • For the second time in 2015, the Buccaneers have claimed linebacker Kourtnei Brown off waivers from the Texans, as Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 tweets. Brown spent three weeks with the Bucs before getting cut and getting signed to Tampa Bay’s taxi squad before joining Houston’s active roster. The 27-year-old played in one game for the Bucs earlier this season.
  • The Saints are going to sign outside linebacker Phillip Hunt, according to Adam Caplan of (on Twitter).
  • To make room, the Saints cut linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, a source tells Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate (on Twitter).
  • The Ravens waived wide receiver Joe Morgan and promoted Chuck Jacobs from the taxi squad, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).

Saints To Sign Jo-Lonn Dunbar

The Saints are set to sign linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, according to a league source who spoke with Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune. Dunbar played for New Orleans from 2008 to 2011.

Dunbar, 30, was released by the Rams on Tuesday. He originally signed with the Saints as a UDFA in 2008 and he went on to play in 53 games for them with 27 starts. This time around, Dunbar is expected to provide the Saints with some much needed depth at linebacker. New Orleans linebackers David Hawthorne and Dannell Ellerbe have both missed practice this week with injuries and their status for Sunday’s game against the Giants is in doubt. Dunbar has played both inside and outside linebacker over the course of his career, but his role right now with the Saints might involve more special teams work.

Dunbar signed a two-year, $3.5MM deal with the Rams prior to the 2014 season that saw him reprise a similar role from 2013. Coming off the field on most passing downs while James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree played three-down roles, Dunbar was the Rams’ worst-rated starting linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, in both 2013 and 2014 for St. Louis. In 2012, however, PFF tabbed Dunbar as the Rams’ best linebacker. Dunbar played both strong- and weak-side positions with the Rams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/27/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Broncos released nose tackle Marvin Austin from injured reserve,Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post tweets.
  • The Rams signed safety Christian Bryant, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Chargers released center J.D. Walton, as Eric Williams of tweets.
  • The Texans promoted safety Kurtis Drummond from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets.
  • The Rams have promoted defensive tackle Doug Worthington to the active roster from the practice squad and released Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets.
  • The Colts have elevated wide receiver Quan Bray to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and waived safety Dewey McDonald, as Kevin Bowen of tweets.
  • The Vikings have promoted linebacker Brandon Watts to the active roster, as Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN tweets. In a related move, cornerback Jabari Price has been placed on IR.
  • The Falcons will bring back safety Charles Godfrey again and release linebacker Allen Bradford, who was inactive this weekend against the Titans, Vaughn McClure of tweets.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/6/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Panthers signed defensive end Wes Horton just days after cutting him, as Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets. To make room, offensive tackle offensive tackle David Foucault has been waived. If Foucault clears waivers, he will be signed to the practice squad, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Rams have re-signed linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar to the roster, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets.
  • The Bears have promoted tackle Nick Becton from the taxi squad to the 53-man roster, as Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune tweets.
  • The Buccaneers announced that they have promoted defensive end Howard Jones to the active roster from the practice squad.
  • Also, Buccaneers defensive end T.J. Fatinikun has been placed on IR after suffering a knee injury in the second half of Sunday’s game against Carolina. He had just returned from a shoulder injury to appear in the Bucs’ last two games, recording one tackle and two stops on special teams. Last year, his first in the NFL, Fatinikun played in ten Buccaneer games and had eight tackles and a half-sack.
  • The Saints signed veteran tackle Tony Hills, as Mike Triplett of (on Twitter).

NFC Notes: Norman, Reed, Bears, Bucs

Panthers GM Dave Gettleman doesn’t negotiate contracts during the regular season, but David Newton of wonders if the bye week might be an exception. If it is, perhaps Carolina could explore getting something done with cornerback Josh Norman this week, but as Newton acknowledges, that seems unlikely. Norman reportedly turned down a contract offer worth about $7MM annually prior to the regular season and a new pact would likely require an offer of $10MM+ per year.

Here’s more out of the NFC..

  • Washington may be in the market for a tight end once again, as Jordan Reed is dealing with an MCL sprain, an ankle sprain, and a concussion, per John Keim of Head coach Jay Gruden said he’s concerned about Reed’s status, though he’s not sure yet about the magnitude of the injuries.
  • Former Giants wide receiver Julian Talley has a workout scheduled with the Bears on Tuesday, a source tells Jordan Raanan of (Twitter link). Talley was cut from the Giants’ roster at the end of the preseason, then released off the team’s practice squad last week.
  • With the Buccaneers searching for a new kicker to replace Kyle Brindza, head coach Lovie Smith said today that accuracy will be the team’s top priority — a big leg for kickoffs and longer field goal attempts would be a bonus (Twitter link via Scott Smith of
  • After Zach Hocker missed a late 30-year field goal against the Cowboys on Sunday, the Saints are planning kicker tryouts this week, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports tweets.
  • The Rams are expected to re-sign linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar to fill the roster spot of injured linebacker Alec Ogletree, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets. However, they have not decided whether or not to sign him just yet (link).

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Rams Release Jo-Lonn Dunbar

One year into a two-year agreement, the Rams parted ways with Jo-Lonn Dunbar as they cut their roster to 53 on Saturday.

Akeem Ayers‘ March signing made Dunbar more expendable, writes Nick Waggoner of

Dunbar signed a two-year, $3.5MM deal with the Rams prior to the 2014 season that saw him reprise a similar role from 2013. The Rams initially signed Dunbar from the Saints, where he played from 2008-11 after going undrafted.

Coming off the field on most passing downs while James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree played three-down roles, Dunbar was the Rams’ worst-rated starting linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, in each of his last two seasons in St. Louis.

In 2012, however, PFF tabbed Dunbar as the Rams’ best linebacker. Dunbar played both strong- and weak-side positions with the Rams, who will go with special-teamer Daren Bates, seventh-rounder Bryce Hager and undrafted rookie Cameron Lynch behind their top trio this season.


Extra Points: Dunbar, Bengals, McKnight, Bucs

Two central ideas are evident in the NFL as teams enter training camp, John Clayton of writes. First, offensive units are trying to run more plays per game than ever before. Perhaps due to the influence of Chip Kelly, Clayton can envision at least a half-dozen teams running over 70 plays per game next season. On defense, teams will have to react to the news that the league plans to call more pass defense penalties. Clubs like the Seahawks and the Patriots, who emphasize physicality in the secondary, might have to tone it down in order to avoid the ire of officials.

  • Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct after an incident at a Miami nightclub on Sunday, reports CBS Miami. Dunbar, an undrafted free agent in 2008, missed the first four games of the 2013 season after being suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
  • LakKendrick Ross, an undrafted free agent out Virginia-Lynchburg, will work out for the Bengals on Monday, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link). Ross was eligible for the supplemental draft, but was not selected.
  • Chiefs running back Joe McKnight had an offseason knee scope and is still recovering, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • The Buccaneers are pinning their hopes on a veteran, journeyman quarterback in Josh McCown, writes Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, and history shows that isn’t the best decision. An ideal scenario entails McCown continuing his late-career revival à la Rich Gannon, continues Stroud.
  • Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times runs through the Seahawks’ 2013 draft class, and examines what each player drafted last year can contribute in 2014.
  • There are 10 players who will be crucial to the Bears’ success in 2014, opines Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, who lists Lance Briggs, Jared Allen, and Jordan Mills in that camp.

Contract Details: Peppers, Cook, McClain

While Julius Peppers‘ three-year deal with the Packers was reported as being worth $30MM over three years, the base value is actually just $26MM, though that could increase if the veteran hits certain escalators, says Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter links). With a $7.5MM signing bonus and a $1MM base salary in 2014, the cap hit in the first year will be just $3.5MM. The deal also includes base salaries of $8.5MM in 2015 and $7MM in 2016, with $1MM in workout and roster bonuses in each of those seasons.

Let’s round up a few more contract details from around the league….

  • Matt Maiocco of provides the financial details on the contracts signed by cornerback Chris Cook and kicker Phil Dawson with the 49ers. Cook’s pact is a minimum salary benefit deal with no guaranteed money, according to Maiocco.
  • Jameel McClain‘s two-year deal with the Giants has a base value of $4.5M, with escalators that can push up to $6M, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Wilson says the contract includes a $600K signing bonus, base salaries of $1.375M (2014) and $1.75M (2015), and a $400K roster bonus in ’15.
  • The Rams‘ new deal with Jo-Lonn Dunbar is a two-year, $2.05MM contract, but could be voided after year one in certain scenarios, as Wilson explains in a pair of tweets.
  • The new five-year contract Zach Strief and the Saints agreed to today includes a first-year base salary of just $900K, meaning Strief’s 2014 cap hit is $2MM, tweets Mike Triplett of
  • Frank Zombo‘s new contract with the Chiefs is a two-year deal, reports Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • The three-year deal between the Giants and Jon Beason has a base value of $16.8MM, with a $4.4MM signing bonus and $6MM in overall guaranteed money, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.

Jo-Lonn Dunbar Re-Signs With Rams

Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar has come to terms on a two-year deal to return to the Rams, reports Ian Rapaport of (via Twitter). The deal could be worth up to $3.5MM.

The deal is a wonderful birthday present for Dunbar, who just turned 29 today. Dunbar started all 16 games for St. Louis in 2012 and he recorded 88 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two picks, four passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

However, he missed the first four games of the 2013 season after violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. The suspension led to his release, but the club re-signed him on October 1st. He finished 2013 with 33 tackles in total.

Zach Links contributed to this post.