NFL Free Agency, NFL Free Agency Tracker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers sign Mark Barron: Grade, reaction and more

The Pittsburgh Steelers added an interesting piece to their defense in veteran Mark Barron. But what role will he play in the team’s defense this season?

While the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t broken the bank this offseason when it comes to veteran additions, they have added some interesting performers. The club signed former Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerback Steve Nelson and also added wide receiver, Donte Moncrief. The latter suited up for the Jacksonville Jaguars ij 2018 after beginning his career with the Indianapolis Colts.

Now general manager Kevin Colbert has dipped into free agency again and added a former member of the defending NFC champions’ defense. The Los Angeles Rams parted ways with linebacker Mark Barron after the season. He now joins a Steelers’ defense that was sixth in the NFL in fewest total yards and rushing yards allowed and was 10th vs. the pass. But it was a unit that hardly looked that part too many times this past season. So can Barron make a “mark” on this group?

Contract Details

Via the always-busy Adam Schefter, the seven-year defender will receive a two-year, $12 million deal from the Black and Gold.

National Reaction

The seventh overall pick in the 2012 was a physical force at the University of Alabama. But Barron has struggled to really find a home in a sense in the NFL. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first-round selection in two-plus seasons with the club before being dealt to the Rams in ’14. The strong safety eventually made the transition to linebacker and served that role during the majority of his time with his new team.

So what will Barron’s role be in coordinator Keith Butler’s defense? As an inside linebacker, stopping the run has not been his forte. Can the Steelers put him in position to succeed when it comes to their schemes? It’s only mid-March, but the jury is definitely out on this signing.

Last offseason, Colbert added veterans such as linebacker Jon Bostic and strong safety Morgan Burnett but the team was still very up and down on the defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to see what role Barron actually winds up playing with a team that has had too many defensive lapses in recent seasons.

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