The NFL has just announced that Rams starting LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar has been suspended for 4 games for violating the NFL’s PED policy. These suspensions can be very costly for players.
Dunbar was set to earn $1.3 million in base salary this season. He will now lose 4 weeks of that salary, which totals $305,882. Dunbar received a $1 million dollar signing bonus in 2012 which was prorated for two years. He will now forfeit $117,647 of that figure. So the total salary loss for Dunbar is $423,529.
The situation gets worse for Dunbar. His contract has up to $750,000 in incentives based on playing time. Dunbar earns $500,000 if he participates in 70% of his teams snaps. That number increases by $250,000 if the Rams also make the playoffs. Dunbar, who played almost every defensive snap last season, will lose out on participating in 25% of the Rams games for the season. That now makes the 70% playtime bonus go from basically being a gimme to something he may have to fight for.
If he is not immediately re-inserted into the starting lineup he will likely miss out on the bonus. If he plays between 65 and 69% of the teams snaps the bonus drops to $250,000 with no increase for the team making the playoffs. If he falls between 60% and 64% the bonus falls to $125,000. If he fails to reach 60% he would fail to earn any incentives in his contract.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.