What to know about Steelers LB signing Mark BarronToday 9:31 AM
Mark Barron is in. L.J. Fort is out. Morgan Burnett says he wants to be.
The Steelers are signing Barron to a two-year, $12 million contract, reported by ESPN Sunday night. Barron is a linebacker who can also cover receivers. You’ll probably hear him referred to as a hybrid.
Pittsburgh spent quite a bit of last preseason trying to put together six- and seven-defensive back packages. The seven-cover men personnel set never made the field. But with Barron set to ink a deal and Steven Nelson able to play outside corner and nickel, the defense appears to be doubling down on the need for this approach.
Here’s what else to know about Barron and his signing:
His role, usage
He played on 56.1 percent of defensive snaps last season for the Rams en route to their run to the Super Bowl. And as much as he’s likely to replace L.J. Fort and possibly even Morgan Burnett (he’s under contract and reportedly wants out) to different extents, it’s worth noting that neither played anywhere near that much last season.
Barron can a.) start b.) strengthen sub packages and c.) do so by not leaving the field himself.
Vince Williams would be the likely linebacker out in six- and seven-defensive back sets. Consider the following dime package personnel:
Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, Joe Haden, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Steven Nelson, Mark Barron, Terrell Edmunds, Sean Davis.
A step forward
In a year when the Steelers had some cap space, they’re spending it on a former first-round pick who’s in the prime of his career at 29 years old. Whereas Fort, who signed a three-year, $5 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles last week, was a capable journeyman, Barron has been a force in the league since he joined it.
Barron has never had less than 60 combined tackles in a year in which he’s played more than 9 games.
It was getting steamy with all those tactics.
Barron does a Thanksgiving giveaway back in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
Los Angeles Rams Linebacker Mark Barron (@M_B_24) donated 1,500 turkeys to Mobile Area families this past weekend. Thank you Mark & family, for not forgetting your roots and giving back to our community! #MarkBarron #LosAngelesRams #LARams #Thanksgiving #HappyThanksgiving
A stamp of approval
From Williams, who he seems set to start alongside.
Former Rams’ LB Mark Barron reached agreement on a two-year, $12 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, per source. A rare free-agent foray for Pittsburgh.