Free agent linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Saints, is leaving New Orleans to sign with the Rams. He announced his plans via Twitter, and that means the offseason shuffle involving the Rams and Saints continues.
Dunbar had 79 tackles and two forced fumbles last season, and leaves the Saints having played in 53 games and recorded 159 tackles. He established himself after going undrafted out of Boston College in 2008.
He will join the currently-suspended Gregg Williams in St. Louis, although it remains unclear when and if he'll be able to play for his former defensive coordinator again, as he will be forced to sit out for at least the 2012 season.
Dunbar stands roughly six feet tall and slightly over 225 pounds, and although his stature isn't prototypical for an NFL linebacker, he'll make a contribution on a Rams defense in need of help at the position. He could be best suited to play on the weak side, cleaning up behind a young defensive front and alongside middle linebacker James Laurinaitis.
He's also the latest in a line of individuals to relocate to St. Louis from New Orleans—or vice versa—this offseason.
While Williams was hired to take over the St. Louis defense, it was the former head coach of the Rams Steve Spagnuolo who was pegged to replace him in New Orleans. Beyond that, Spagnuolo brought linebacker Chris Chamberlain with him to New Orleans, and Dunbar may end up taking many of the snaps that Chamberlain did last season.
It's not uncommon for coaches who take new jobs to pursue former players of theirs, as Jeff Fisher, the Rams new head coach, has already signed CB Cortland Finnegan (formerly of Fisher's Titans), and attempted to sign DL Jason Jones as well.
St. Louis and New Orleans are proving once again that this is the case, and Dunbar's signing may not be the last move of a player from the Rams or Saints to the other team this offseason.