NFC West Notes: Barron, Rams, Cards, 49ers

Let’s check out the latest from the NFC West, where the Rams made a relatively surprising trade earlier today…

  • Acquiring Mark Barron from the Buccaneers was a low-risk, high-reward move for the Rams, writes Nick Wagoner of, but it’s fair to wonder how Barron will fit in with St. Louis’ defense. Barron has been more successful as an in-the-box type safety, but as Wagoner notes, the Rams currently deploy T.J. McDonald near the line of scrimmage. In fact, McDonald grades as the second-worst safety in the league in terms of pass coverage, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Nevertheless, St. Louis can use the remainder of the season to determine if Barron has a future with the club, and more specifically, if it wants to exercise his fifth-year option.
  • Several bullets into his latest notes post, Mike Sando of (Insider subscription required) examines the Rams’ free agent miscues during head coach Jeff Fisher’s tenure. Jake Long is now injured once again, Jared Cook hasn’t been worth his $7MM annual salary, and a third high-priced addition, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, was released prior to the season.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said that he and general manager Steve Keim discussed several potential trades, but none came to fruition. Additionally, Arians suggested the trade deadline be moved later in the season.
  • The 49ers currently have an open space on their 53-man roster, notes Matt Maiocco of (on Twitter). San Francisco did not make a transaction today, and while the club could be saving a spot for Aldon Smith, the league did not make an announcement regarding a reduction of his suspension. Jim Harbaugh told reporters yesterday that he had yet to hear anything about Smith’s ban being lessened.
  • After giving up multiple draft picks for Percy Harvin (and then dealing him away one year later), the Seahawks were right to not make a trade today, opines’s Terry Blount.
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