Just prior to the trading deadline, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have dealt 2012 first-round pick Mark Barron to the St. Louis Rams for fourth- and sixth-round picks in the 2015 draft pick, and reserve linebacker Jonathan Casillas to New England Patriots for a 2015 draft pick.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht commented on the trades soon after they were completed.
“We have a lot of respect for Jonathan (Casillas) and Mark (Barron) as players,” Licht said. “We appreciate their hard work and what they did for us here. In some of these cases with trades, we find a partner where they feel that their (players) services are needed more there than they are here. That’s the case here. We wish them the best and nothing but the best. They’ve been great program guys here for Lovie and myself. I hope nothing but the best for them in the future.”
Rumors surfaced last week that the team was fielding offers for wide receiver Vincent Jackson, running back Doug Martin and Barron, but the team never had plans to deal Jackson, unless it was for a second-round pick. The Bucs were looking to deal Martin, but didn’t find the right trading partner that would give up adequate compensation, which was believed to be at least a fourth-round pick.
While Jackson is 31-years old and in the back end of his career, Mark Barron is just 25, still playing in a favorable rookie contract.
But given Barron’s lack of progress, especially in 2014, this trade starts to make more sense. While Barron has shown promise in the run game, he’s lacked good coverage skills ever dating back to his rookie campaign. In a Tampa 2 system, safeties are involved in coverage just as much as cornerbacks. Combine this with the fact that head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht did not draft the former Crimson Tide star, and it becomes clear that the Buccaneers’ future would not include Mark Barron.
In his 37-game Buccaneers career, Barron has recorded 225 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks.
Barron was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft ahead of players like linebacker Luke Kuechly, wide receiver Michael Floyd, and defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Chandler Jones.
While Barron’s career in Tampa Bay wasn’t extremely disappointing, most Bucs fans would agree the Mobile, Ala. native hasn’t lived up to his Top 10 draft status and seems to have regressed under Smith and Leslie Frazier’s scheme.
Tampa Bay is expected to start Dashon Goldson and Major Wright at safety and have Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy as reserves.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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