Breaking down Dunbar's contract

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
2:00
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams re-signed linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar late last week, bringing back a key piece of the defense in 2012 who was unable to duplicate it in 2013.

Dunbar
After serving a four-game suspension for violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, Dunbar returned to a situation much different than his first year with the team. Rookie Alec Ogletree already had replaced him alongside James Laurinaitis as the team's primary three-down linebackers, and Dunbar's snaps were reduced drastically.

As the third linebacker, Dunbar played 397 snaps in 2013, a far cry from the 1,025 he logged in 2012. Of course, that includes a four-game difference, but it still works out to a drop from about 64 snaps per game to 33 snaps a game.

As such, Dunbar's new two-year deal with the Rams pays him a little more than $2 million with incentives that can take it past $3 million. The deal is in line with a player who likely will be used in a fashion similar to 2013 than 2012.

Here's the breakdown of Dunbar's new deal (palindromes included!):

2014

Base salary: $751,157
Guaranteed roster bonus: $128,821 (to be paid March 30)
Cap value: $879,978
Cash value: $879,978

2015

Base salary: $999,999
Non-guaranteed roster bonus: $125,521
Cap value: $1,125,520
Cash value: $1,125,520

Notes: The only money guaranteed in the deal is the 2014 roster bonus of $128,821. In addition, Dunbar has incentives for playing time and team performance that can earn him up to $720,022 in each of the two seasons on the contract. Playing 50 percent or more of the snaps or the Rams making the playoffs in 2014 would not only earn him incentive money but would also give him the option to void the 2015 season. If Dunbar played both seasons and hit all incentives, he could earn an additional $1,440,044, which would bring the total of the deal to just under $3.5 million.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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