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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    How would you sum up Alex Barron's years with the Rams so far?

    Calling him a "bust" would be a mistake. He has been a full-time starter, fairly durable, and has played well at times.

    Calling him a "success" would be a mistake as well. He has had way too many false start penalties, and occasional lapses in pass protection.

    Barron certainly has the physical tools to be an elite NFL OT. In fact, if you were building a prototype LT, he would look something like Barron.

    The problem lies elsewhere. Call it laziness, lack of heart, lack of motivation, lack of passion... something is missing. My conclusion has always been that Barron has so much physical ability that he's been able to phone it in most of his life. Unfortunately, while that is good enough to get him a first round contract and a starting NFL job, its not enough for him to realize his potential.

    This is a big year for Barron. Its the final year on his rookie contract, and the Rams have already obtained their LT of the future in Jason Smith. Barron currently has a foothold on the LT spot, though I would not presume that he won't be back on the right side by opening day. Whichever side he plays on, this is a make or break year for Barron financially. If he plays well, and the overall improvment in the Rams' O line translates to big seasons from Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger, he'll be able to name his price next year. That's the kind of demand there is for extablished OTs in this league.

    Will that light a fire under Barron? I'm not sure.

    If Barron has a bad year, the Rams will have a simple decision in 2010. Let Barron go (someone else will still probably overpay him), move Smith to LT (if he's not there already) and find a RT either from the existing players (Greco?) or draft one (RTs can be obtained in Rounds 3-4, generally).

    If he has a good year, the Rams will have a tough choice. I, for one, would be hesitant to give Barron a big contract, for fear that, once paid, he'll revert back to his old nonchalant ways.

    So what will Barron's legacy with the Rams be? I'm thinking he'll always be a "what might have been" kind of guy.

    Time will tell.


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    GolfnRAMFAN is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    I agree with all you said. I am curious if the Rams would consider trying to work out an extension right now for maybe 2-3 years, that way if he does play well, it won't hinder them after the season if they want to retain him. I figure if they could lock him down and he plays well, maybe there is a Jason Peters like deal out there for him. Just thinking out loud but I would like to maybe get something out of this guy after this season.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Another option would be to franchise him for a year and then try to trade him. That would be risky, though, as I don't know that too many teams would want to give up a high draft choice AND pay a big signing bonus to a guy with Barron's track record.

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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    If he plays well, I can see him getting the tag, even if just to keep him here another year, to see if he will continue to play well. I think that the contract year will be enough to get him playing. Typical is'nt it. To some money is the only motivator.
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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    How would you sum up Alex Barron's years with the Rams so far?
    A tease .. Like you said, not a bust, but nowhere near what he could be if he could muster up some passion to go along with his physical attributes.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    If he has a good year, the Rams will have a tough choice. I, for one, would be hesitant to give Barron a big contract, for fear that, once paid, he'll revert back to his old nonchalant ways.
    Perhaps the combination of Jason Brown and Jacob Bell (our "new" O-line vets), along with the passionate Jason Smith will finally rub off on Alex - this being a contract year and all. However, I wouldn't want to bet on Alex reinventing himself this year. I'll keep hoping though .. Kind of defines a tease .. yes? The tease does just enough to keep you interested - enough to keep you hoping ....

  6. #6
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Interestingly enough, the CBA negotiations have a huge effect on what happens with Barron, incidentally. As a 2005 draftee, signing a 5 year contract, Alex figured that he'd have the 2010 offseason as his huge payday. Unfortunately, under the current agreement, you have to have 6 years of experience to be an unrestricted free agent. In orther words, if the CBA is not renegotiated before next offseason, Barron will be a restricted free agent and we can tender him like we did 3rd year players this year. That is part of the reason why we will not sign him to a new deal at all this year.

    The other part is hoping that Barron really turns it on this season, locks down the LT spot, and has a pro bowl year. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility. More to the point, I would say that it has a fair chance of happening, given his upgraded motivation(big contract) and his open shot at playing the side he's best suited for(incidentally, I find it interesting we picked the tackle who would fit in better at RT if so needed in Smith over the pure LT in Monroe).

    So, this is what I imagine will happen. One, there'll be no contract talks before the offseason, and even those will hold off to see what happens with the CBA. If Barron really turns it on and we have a CBA fix, I would not be surprised to see us Franchise him(transition would be cheaper, but much more dangerous). We won't wnat to pay that kind of money, so I wouldn't be surprised to see us trade him for maybe two second rounders as opposed to firsts. Personally, I'd love two 2nds for Barron. This would be my preferred strategy, as you never know what you'll get out of him if he performs like that only in his contract year. The second option would be to sign him long term, and give him an incentive lined deal. Alternative option one, is if the CBA stays as it is, and we just tender him an offer at 30% above this year or whatever. No risk, high reward.

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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Interestingly enough, the CBA negotiations have a huge effect on what happens with Barron, incidentally. As a 2005 draftee, signing a 5 year contract, Alex figured that he'd have the 2010 offseason as his huge payday. Unfortunately, under the current agreement, you have to have 6 years of experience to be an unrestricted free agent. In orther words, if the CBA is not renegotiated before next offseason, Barron will be a restricted free agent and we can tender him like we did 3rd year players this year. That is part of the reason why we will not sign him to a new deal at all this year.

    The other part is hoping that Barron really turns it on this season, locks down the LT spot, and has a pro bowl year. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility. More to the point, I would say that it has a fair chance of happening, given his upgraded motivation(big contract) and his open shot at playing the side he's best suited for(incidentally, I find it interesting we picked the tackle who would fit in better at RT if so needed in Smith over the pure LT in Monroe).

    So, this is what I imagine will happen. One, there'll be no contract talks before the offseason, and even those will hold off to see what happens with the CBA. If Barron really turns it on and we have a CBA fix, I would not be surprised to see us Franchise him(transition would be cheaper, but much more dangerous). We won't wnat to pay that kind of money, so I wouldn't be surprised to see us trade him for maybe two second rounders as opposed to firsts. Personally, I'd love two 2nds for Barron. This would be my preferred strategy, as you never know what you'll get out of him if he performs like that only in his contract year. The second option would be to sign him long term, and give him an incentive lined deal. Alternative option one, is if the CBA stays as it is, and we just tender him an offer at 30% above this year or whatever. No risk, high reward.
    um, case closed? Haha, great post. I knew something along the lines of what would happen with the CBA, but I didn't know the details. Thanks for clarifying. With LTs and OTs in general becoming very hard to come by, we could get a good price for Barron if he performs well this year. Not saying how likely I think this is to happen, but a possibility nonetheless.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Tease, what could have / should have been or overrated as a 1st rounder but more likely a 3rd round talent. However you want to put it his legacy "currently" is all of the above, but he has the opportunity to improve it with his move to the left in a contract year. I just never trust lackadaisical players that show sudden improvement in their contract years. TekeRam seems to have his pulse on the best possible moves. So, Av, I guess that the jury is still out...
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  9. #9
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Have you ever worked a job or a project that bored you? Maybe it was so simple or repetitive that you just couldn't put forth all the effort you were capable of?

    Maybe this is what we have with Barron. Look at the year he had to man the left side for Pace. He looked more focused, more aggressive, and more dominant than he ever did at RT. It's definitely a different beast playing on the left. Real pressure, real responsbility, it's probably the toughest position in the NFL to play at a high level ...

    Who knows? My bet is on him having a great season if he's on the left side ...

  10. #10
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Just sit back and enjoy watching Alex Barron reach the full potential that we have all been waiting for. Ain't it amazing how motivated people can be when money is dangling infront of them. If you can't count on their heart, or just their own sheer pride in becoming a professional, but atleast you can count on greed.
    Last edited by badmoforamfan; -05-05-2009 at 12:53 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    I truely wish that somethingwould actually motivate this kid!!!!!!!!! Stop and think just how many college grad football players would give their eye teeth to be part of the NFL. Here he is on a pro team and he is blowing it. I do not believe its a lack of talent, but there is definately something lacking inside of him
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  12. #12
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Here is my concern...let's say he has a monster year at LT, do we sign him for a lot of money?

    I wouldn't say he's been a bust so far, but I think Rams fans overrate how good he's been (even at LT). His motivation is inconsistent, he is terrible before the snap, and he can get manhandled by the stronger DEs. Even if he has a big year, I wouldn't sign him for a lot of money but I can imagine the Rams being in an awkward position (with all the exceptions provided by the CBA as Teke outlines above).

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    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Chi, that's pretty much what I outlined above as well. If he has the monster year at LT, I'd franchise him and bite the bullet on the cap, but then either try to trade him or see how he does for a second consecutive year. If he's the real deal, he'll be worth the hit. If not, it's mostly risk free.

  14. #14
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    It's interesting to me how it seemingly appears the a significant amount of people apparently WANT him to fail. If he starts the season at LT, and is dominant, and Jason Smith has to play the rest of his career at RT, then so be it, in my opinion. We really do not know what Barron is capable of. We do know he is an above average right tackle. He looked to be a good left tackle when filling in for Pace. With a full offseason under his belt, he could be a GREAT left tackle. If that's the case, I am certain Jason Smith will be a GREAT right tackle, and always available to fill in on the left side if needed ....

    Bookend tackles can be crucial in this league. I don't care who plays where as long as they are dominant ...

    But if three or four years down the road, people can look and say that Alex Barron is a top 5 LT and Jason Smith is a top 5 RT, then we should pay them whatever it costs to keep them ...

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    chiguy's Avatar
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    Re: The Curious Case of Alex Barron

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    It's interesting to me how it seemingly appears the a significant amount of people apparently WANT him to fail....
    Its not that I want him to fail, its that I don't trust him so if he's successful once I'm not convinced he'll sustain that without the need to get a new contract hanging over his head. In all honesty, I think the Rams need to decide in August what they want to do with him January, write on a piece of paper, and stick away. Pull it out in January and do that.

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