Barron, 29, was released by the Rams earlier this month in a move that saved Los Angeles $6.5MM in cap space. He was due a $5MM base salary and a $3MM roster bonus in 2019, so Barron won’t recoup his single-season earnings under his new contact with the Steelers.
A former safety, Barron was traded from the Buccaneers to the Rams during the 2014 campaign. In each of his first two full seasons with Los Angeles, Barron posted at least 100 tackles, and compiled 16 tackles for loss in 2016. The No. 7 overall selection in the 2012 draft, Barron has 104 appearances and 93 starts under his belt.
Pittsburgh is in need of help at inside linebacker, as neither Vince Williams nor Jonathan Bostic graded as a top-40 LB league-wide in 2018, per Pro Football Focus. Specifically, the Steelers needed to reinforce their second-level pass defense after ranking 31st in DVOA against opposing tight ends and 15th against running backs, according to Football Outsiders.
The Steelers have only ~$6.8MM in cap space, so Barron’s deal — even if it likely has a cheap cap charge in 2019 — will push them closer to the brink. Given that he was cut, Barron won’t factor into Pittsburgh’s compensatory pick formula.
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