After reporting earlier today that the Rams are picking up their fifth-year option on defensive tackle Michael Brockers for the 2016 season, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an update on the team’s other option-eligible player. According to Thomas (via Twitter), St. Louis won’t exercise its ’16 option for safety Mark Barron, making him eligible for unrestricted free agency next winter.
Barron, the seventh overall pick in 2012, started his career with the Buccaneers and spent two and a half seasons in Tampa Bay before the team sent him to St. Louis at last year’s trade deadline. The Rams surrendered a fourth-round pick and a sixth-rounder for Barron, but the decision to decline his option doesn’t come as a real surprise.
Because he was a top-10 pick in 2012, Barron’s 2016 salary – if the Rams had picked up his option – would have been equal to the 2015 transition salary for a safety — $8.263MM. There aren’t many safeties in the league making that sort of money, and Barron hasn’t exactly ranked among the NFL’s best defensive backs in his first three NFL seasons. The Alabama product played only 174 defensive snaps for the Rams after last season’s trade.
Barron is currently set to earn a fully guaranteed salary of $2.363MM in 2015, the final year of his rookie contract.