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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    At the start of the season, I thought the plan for Alex Barron was pretty clear... play him at LT so that Jason Smith could cut his NFL teeth at the RT spot, let him sign elsewhere at the end of the season, move Smith to LT, and find a new RT in FA or the draft.

    That still might be the plan, either by design (because Smith clearly is the intended LT of the future) or by necessity (because Barron will seek LT $ in FA). But, given Barron's play lately, I have to wonder if the Rams might need to rethink the plan.

    Simply stated, right now Barron is doing an above-average job as a starting LT. In fact, he may very well be the #2 LT on the FA market next year, behind San Diego's Marcus McNeil.

    The question is... how do the Rams get value from the commodity? I don't see the Rams signing Barron to a big contract and keeping Smith at RT. I also don't see Barron taking RT money and switching sides once again.

    The real issue will be the state of the FA system in 2010. If it continues as currently structured, the Rams could make a francise player offer and then try to trade Barron. Would there be any takers? Not sure. Despite Barron's improved play, I'm not sure there are too many teams who would part with a high draft cholce for the privilege of paying Barron LT $ on a long-term contract.

    I don't have the answer here. Thoughts?


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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    It's a really crappy situation for the Rams, to be quite honest.

    Barron's always played below-average on the right side but on the left he's doing quite well. Is this because he's fighting for a big contract? Or is he better at LT? If that can be answered, we'd have a more clear cut road but as of right now it's going to be tough. Is JS ready to play LT? Will he wind up being better than Barron in the future if he's let go?

    I think what has to happen is Barron either stays at LT and takes a RT contract or he switches to RT and takes RT money. Either which way, I think it's up to Alex at this point. Does he want to continue to be a Ram or does he want to test the market and maybe go somewhere else?

    I think in the end it's going to be up to Barron whether or not he wants to be here for the money we can offer him.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Unless Barron wants to stay on with RT money I don't see him being a ram next year. What I'd like to see is the rams franchise him and then trade him, I don't think they could get a first round pick but there would be teams willing to give up a 2nd and I'd take that in a heart beat.

    If next year is uncapped doesn't it take 6 years in the league to become an unrestricted free agent? So wouldn't Barron be a restricted free agent in this case?

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBritishRam View Post
    If next year is uncapped doesn't it take 6 years in the league to become an unrestricted free agent? So wouldn't Barron be a restricted free agent in this case?
    I'm not entirely clear on what Barron's status would be in the event of an uncapped year. If that would make him a RFA, that would be a good thing for the Rams, as it would make it easier to either keep him (short term) or trade him.

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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    I think what we'll TRY to do is franchise him (who else would we use the tag on? I can only think of Atowge again) and try to trade him. If we fail to do that, we'll let him walk. He's going to command big money in the off-season simply for the fact that LTs are at a premium in this league, and the supply is often very, very low. I think after this year, he can't go back to RT. Why put a player back at a position where he played worse because of convenience, or someone else's contract? It's a nasty situation.

  6. #6
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Barron will be a restricted free agent unless they sign a new CBA. Pretty darn good chance he's a Ram next year. I've never understood the hate for Barron. Except for the false starts (which are driver killers), he's an average OT and he's really paid accordingly. Average isn't nearly as large of a problem when the Rams have so many below average players. But Av is right, he's playing MUCH better at LT. I don't have a problem with Smith being the RT for another full year.

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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    What this says to me more than anything is stop playing someone in the wrong position. Barron was drafted originally to be the eventual replacement for Pace. In the mean time they decided to play him at RT. At RT Barron was a complete BUST. On that almost all of us can agree. There are a number of other players that the Rams have played wrong, who then went on to other teams that put them back in the correct spot and they played better. Witherspoon is a good example of that as well. He was playing okay for us, but once Philly got a hold of him and started using him correctly look at what happened.

    Some of the issues that Spags is still having right now is that not all of the personnel on the team were his choice and he is still evaluating what they can do and where the best spot for them is.

    So what to do with Barron now? That is a tough question. JS is a left tackle. Not a right tackle. I do not want to see him played out of position, unless he clearly demonstrates that he can hold up. But at the same time we used a very high draft pick to get him, and are paying him a lot. financially I guess it would make the most sense to get what we can for Barron at the end of the season and then plug JS in at LT. BUT! The O-line is finally starting to gel and get in sinc and I hate to mess with that chemistry. This is the kind of nightmare I like. Discussing what to do with good players for a change, rather than gripe about bad players.

    And after having said all that I still don't know what would be the best route to take. Let's just enjoy the competence for a change and wait until the off season to debate what to do.

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    molar_pistol is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    the cba thing could throw a wrench in all of this but i still think we could get a 2nd rounder out of somebody for him if he continues to play well through the season.

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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rampingitup View Post
    At RT Barron was a complete BUST. On that almost all of us can agree.
    Nope. I disagree. While he might not have lived up to his first round status, he played well enough to be considered something other than a "bust."

    Witherspoon is a good example of that as well. He was playing okay for us, but once Philly got a hold of him and started using him correctly look at what happened.
    Are you kidding? For years, everyone said that WW was miscast as a MLB. I'd say his success (in 2 games) with the Eagles is more about the players around him.

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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rampingitup View Post
    What this says to me more than anything is stop playing someone in the wrong position. Barron was drafted originally to be the eventual replacement for Pace. In the mean time they decided to play him at RT. At RT Barron was a complete BUST. On that almost all of us can agree. There are a number of other players that the Rams have played wrong, who then went on to other teams that put them back in the correct spot and they played better. Witherspoon is a good example of that as well. He was playing okay for us, but once Philly got a hold of him and started using him correctly look at what happened.

    Philly's playing him at MLB, which is where we incorrectly played him. We did move him back at the beginning of this year, but for the most part we played him at MLB because we didn't have anyone else.

  11. #11
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Here is Jim Thomas' (fairly uninspired) opinion on the subject:

    Armen Dacity: Jim,
    It seems the Rams are approaching a Catch-22 with Alex Barron. On the one hand, I don't think he's good enough to pay starting LT money to, particularly with Jason Smith waiting in the wings. On the other hand, it would be a shame to allow a valuable commodity like Barron (who's play has improved as of late) go for nothing. Is there an "Option 3"? Could the Rams franchise and trade him? Would there be any takers? What are your thoughts?
    Jim Thomas: I don't know how you can spent $30 million or so to keep Barron when you have Smith waiting in the wings. I don't see any way that both Barron AND Incognito are back next year. The Rams can't trade Barron since his contract's up after this season.
    Actually, Jim... the Rams absolutely could put the franchise tag on Barron and then try to trade him. Not to say that they necessarily will do that, but they could.

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    Rampingitup is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Nope. I disagree. While he might not have lived up to his first round status, he played well enough to be considered something other than a "bust."



    Are you kidding? For years, everyone said that WW was miscast as a MLB. I'd say his success (in 2 games) with the Eagles is more about the players around him.
    The reason I considered him a bust at RT was his constant mental errors leading to penalties, year after year. It is hard not to consider all the false start calls. I felt that these were happening because he was playing out of position and it caused him to keep getting his mind in the way of playing. Since moving to the LT position he has much fewer mental errors. So I guess the argument would be is he having less errors due to being moved back to the correct line position? I did not say he was complete bust as a player. In my opinion he was a bust at RT, and maybe a bust as a first round pick. At left tackle he has so far proven to be at least average, and maybe starting to show some of the upside that everyone kept talking about, but we never saw it at RT. Right now I think of him as an average starting LT. Not of Pace's stature, but then Pace is probably going to be a HoFer. The point I was trying to make more than any other is that he is much better being played in the position he is meant for. Not all O-linemen can play every position. They are too specialized.

    As for Spoon. I think it can be attributed some to the players around him, and to the way the coaches use him. Maybe the coaches and defense style at Philly just suit Spoon better.

  13. #13
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Barron has stepped into Pace's shoes at LT and done a pretty darn good job. He also stepped right in for Pace when he went down in 07 with the injury, and played pretty darn good.

    Pay Barron the money at LT, keep Smith at RT. An LT & RT that can play without a TE lined next to them for help is a HUGE benefit to the whole offense and what they can do.

    We've been down this road of thinking we can plug someone in at RT and hope it turns out ok........ ask Kurt and Marc how that worked out !!!!

    Maineram -
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Here is Jim Thomas' (fairly uninspired) opinion on the subject:



    Actually, Jim... the Rams absolutely could put the franchise tag on Barron and then try to trade him. Not to say that they necessarily will do that, but they could.
    The situation with Barron is very similar to what the Patsies went through last year with Matt Cassell. Because they had Brady signed long term they sure did not want to pay Cassell starter money, yet they also did not want him to get away for nothing.

    The solution? They slapped the franchise tag on him and then did not demand two first round picks so that a trade was possible. This might be the route the Rams should consider; although, currently, O.J. has the tag applied to him and he would have to get signed long term in order for the tag to be removed and then placed on Barron.

    Oh well...it's never boring when it comes to the Rams.

    WHAT SAY YE?

  15. #15
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    Re: The Alex Barron Situation Has Become More Intriguing

    The feeling I am getting is that Barron and Smith may both be back put not Jacob Bell

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