While this move will create another need on Los Angeles’ defensive second level, it will free up $6.3MM in cap space. Barron becomes the second starter the Rams made the decision to jettison on Tuesday, joining center John Sullivan.
The No. 7 overall pick in 2012, Barron signed a five-year, $45MM deal to stay with the Rams after the 2016 season. Following the team’s trades of Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn, Barron became the preeminent veteran on Los Angeles’ linebacking corps — a group otherwise stripped of high salaries to cover costs elsewhere. Now, with Dante Fowler also expected to hit the market, the Rams do not have a veteran contract at any linebacker spot.
No guaranteed money remained on Barron’s deal, which called for him to play for a $5MM base salary. This move also comes before Barron, who accepted a $500K pay cut last year, was due a $3MM roster bonus. The 29-year-old defender started 12 regular-season games last season and 56 as a Ram.
A former safety, Barron revived his career as a Rams linebacker, peaking between the 2015-16 seasons. He registered more than 110 tackles in each and made 16 stops for loss in 2015. The Rams have only second-year player Micah Kiser under contract at inside ‘backer, though it should be expected the team will tender and retain 2o18 starter Cory Littleton, who is an RFA.
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