The Los Angeles Rams wasted little time in retaining one of their key free agents by re-signing converted safety to outside linebacker Mark Barron to a five-year, $45 million deal on Wednesday, August 9, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapport.
Barron, who played his first three years in the league primarily at safety, made a seamless transition to taking the bulk of his snaps at weakside linebacker by recording a team-high and career-best 116 tackles in 2015. He had three games recording 10 or more tackles, including a career-high 16 tackles against the Cleveland Browns.
Since being acquired midway through the 2014 season, the 26-year-old has excelled in the Rams’ blitz-heavy defense under Gregg Williams. His high level of production last year has earned him a lucrative contract with the Rams. This move shows an immediate sense of urgency from Los Angeles given that the team has already lost out on a couple of their notable free agents on Wednesday in Janoris Jenkins, who signed with the New York Giants, and Rodney McLeod, who inked a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
There was also a high importance on keeping the former first round pick due to the team’s decision to part ways in the offseason with longtime middle linebacker James Laurinaitis two weeks ago. Alec Ogletree is expected to slide over and fill his spot in the lineup with Barron assuming Ogletree’s place at outside linebacker.
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He is also the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sportsoutwest.com, and About.com. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @Bgarcia90.