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Rams reportedly lock up Mark Barron before free agency

The Rams kept Barron off the open market just hours before the new league year.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Former safety and current linebacker Mark Barron has re-signed with the Los Angeles Ramsaccording to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Barron was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and was called upon to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting safety from Day 1.

The five-year deal is worth $45 million, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

He didn't play terribly at the position, and played in all 16 games in his rookie season, with 88 combined tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. He actually played well in two seasons with the Buccaneers, but was abruptly traded to the Rams, where he didn't look quite as good as he had with his former team.

Barron was looking like a bust at that point, but when Alec Ogletree went down with an injury at the weakside linebacker position this past season, Barron stepped in and played in all 16 games. Barron flourished as a linebacker, putting up 116 combined tackles, a sack and four forced fumbles. He looked dominant and his range made him one of the better linebackers in the league at that point.

At this point, a full-time switch to linebacker is probably best for him. He's 26 years old and will have a birthday in October, with plenty of time to grow and improve as a player as he plays in his prime. The Rams released linebacker James Laurinaitis earlier in the offseason and Barron was obviously a big part of their plans going forward.