The Buccaneers announced this evening they have signed first-round pick Mark Barron to a contract. Barron's signing means the Tampa Bay now has all seven draft picks under contract
While it may have taken a little longer than both general manager Mark Dominik and agent Jimmy Sexton wanted, first-round pick (7th overall) Alabama safety Mark Barron and the Buccaneers has officially agreed on a contract.
Terms of the contract were not immediately released, but it is expected to be slightly higher than last year’s seventh round selection Aldon Smith who received an $8.96 million signing bonus from the San Francisco 49ers.
As part of the CBA signed last season, the days of month-long (or longer) holdouts are most likely a thing of the past, as the rookie draft picks now have a slotted salary system.
Barron was selected seventh overall out of the University of Alabama, where he was a two-time team captain and started 39 of the 53 games he played, including every game he played in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. During his collegiate career, Barron recorded 237 tackles, 12 interceptions, 29 passes defensed, 13 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, seven quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Barron finished his time with the Crimson Tide as a two-time first-team All-American, three-time first-team All-SEC selection and his 12 interceptions ranked tied for the eighth-most in school history. He was also named Alabama Defensive Player of the Week 14 times.
As a senior, Barron helped lead Alabama to a BCS National Championship and their defense to a No. 1 national rank in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense, just the second team (also 1986 Oklahoma) to ever accomplish that feat. He finished second on the team with 68 tackles to go with two interceptions, five passes defensed, one sack, five tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Barron was named a finalist for both the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's best defensive back) and Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's best defensive player).
During his junior campaign, Barron had a team leading 75 tackles, along with three interceptions, six passes defensed, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble. Barron broke out in his sophomore season, recording seven interceptions, tied for the fourth-most in a single season in team history and 18 passes defensed, which ranked sixth nationally and led the SEC.
Barron is expected to step in and immediately start at safety for the Buccaneers along side veteran Ronde Barber, who is entering his 16th season in the league.
The Mobile native was a highly productive player for Nick Saban at Alabama and was a two-time team captain, something that didn’t slip past Dominik and Bucs coach Greg Schiano.
“Obviously Mark Barron was a two-time captain at the University of Alabama, a two-year National Champion, and a very productive player at a very important position in the National Football League now,” Dominik said on draft night back in April.
“Safety has become a very important position and a position we value. We felt like we got an extremely productive guy, who has a lot of leadership intangibles to him that we think are needed on this defense to continue to build this defense into what Coach Schiano wants it to be.”
“The first film I watched of him, Mark and I watched it together, and I was like, wow, Schiano said. “Then you go back and try to find problems. That’s what you do but we just continually fell this kid is a fit for the Bucs. He’s a leader, he has a physical presence and he loves it. This is a guy that loves it, studying tape, studying the defense, the opponent – he’s our kind of guy.”
Barron told the media a day after being drafted he doesn’t expect a difficult transition from college to the NFL.
“Coming from the program I come from it is just kind of the mindset we have,” Barron said. “We want to be the best at everything we do. You just go out and work for it and everyday at practice we work at being the best at what we do. I think that will carry over with that mindset. The way we did things at Alabama I think will make it an easy transition for me to come in and make an impact early. I think I will be able to bring the mindset of winning and wanting to be the best.”
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