The St. Louis Rams decided to cut veteran linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar on Tuesday afternoon. The surprise move was first reported by Howard Balzer. It was not a move they had to make. Dunbar would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit while serving his four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy.
Jeff Fisher made his displeasure with Dunbar clear after news of the suspension broke last month.
"First and foremost, we are very, very disappointed in his choices and his decisions," Fisher said. "It's selfish, it hurts the team but we also see it as an opportunity to learn from a mistake, so we discussed it with the entire squad last night and I think everybody understands the responsibilities that each and every player has as far as taking care of themselves and what you can do and what you can't do."
The Rams signed Dunbar last season as a free agent on two-year deal. He was better than advertised, becoming the Rams' best run-defending linebacker. He also added something as a blitzing linebacker, and picked up four sacks last season. Most famously, he's also the guy that knocked out San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and let loose Colin Kaepernick on the NFL.
The Rams signed free agent Will Witherspoon as a replacement for Dunbar during his suspension.
Dunbar had a cap hit of $1.994 million this season. His release will save the Rams close to $1.5 million, according to the numbers from Over the Cap. He is free to sign with another team now, but he would still be required to serve his four-game suspension under league rules.