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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Little more than an hour after re-signing offensive lineman Rodger Saffold to a five-year contract, the St. Louis Rams brought back another key starter, but without the drama.
Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar signed a two-year contract worth up to $3.5 million to remain with the Rams on Thursday night, a deal that came without the twists and turns of the Saffold saga.
Dunbar played in 12 games with 10 starts for the Rams in 2013 after serving a four-game suspension to start the year because of a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
As the team's third linebacker next to James Laurinaitis and rookie Alec Ogletree, Dunbar generally came off the field on third down and played 397 snaps last year. He finished with 39 tackles.
Upon his return, Dunbar figures to fill a similar role. He'd also probably like a return to something closer to his 2012 production when he posted 113 tackles, four and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
In 2014, Dunbar will be reunited with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams coached Dunbar in New Orleans from 2009 to '11 and was supposed to be his coordinator in St. Louis before the NFL suspended Williams for his role in the Saints bounty scandal.
The Rams officially re-hired Williams as defensive coordinator in February. Dunbar turned 29 on Thursday.