The St. Louis Rams have filled another hole through free agency, as the team has signed New Orleans Saints linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. The free agent made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.
The Rams have had interest in Dunbar for the past couple of weeks, as the team looks to fill vacancies at the linebacker position, given the departures of Chris Chamberlain to New Orleans and Brady Poppinga, who is still a free agent.
In 2011, Dunbar started 14 out of 16 games. Five of those games came at middle linebacker after Jonathan Vilma suffered a knee injury. He forced two fumbles and recorded 79 tackles.
Chamberlain had 80 tackles and one forced fumble and Poppinga recorded 51 tackles with one forced fumble.
As noted at Turf Show Times, Dunbar was the Saints' lowest graded linebacker for the 2011 season. He received a -23.6 mark from Pro Football Focus. As primarily a backup in 2010, Dunbar graded out as a 5.
On his Twitter page, Dunbar said he was "excited, nervous and happy to be a Ram" and that winning in St. Louis is the only thing he's focused on.
Unless the Rams make more moves in free agency or the draft, Dunbar should be expected to serve as one of the team's outside linebacker. The move can be considered risky, especially if Dunbar is one of the players implicated in Bountygate, which could result in suspension and possibly criminal charges.
Dunbar was signed in 2008 by the Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Boston College.