Alex Barron has to be the most polar player on the Rams. Some people think highly of him as a depth guy, someone who might not be the best guy to start, but would be good depth. Others, like me, view him as a penalty-prone lazy stump of a player who isn't worth his grain in salt. That's what opinions are for, right?
On a side, unrelated note, I thought it was funny that Brian Cushing was busted for a fertility drug. The US Anti-Doping agency said that the only way it would show up is if he took it (not by accident), so Brian, thank you for denying James Laurinaitis a chance at the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
But back to the topic at hand! Last year, believe it or not, the Rams had a ton of success running the ball on the left side. I can't give Barron all the credit, because obviously sometimes it wasn't just him, but it's quite impressive that the Rams ranked 2nd in the league for runs off the left tackle, and 12th in the league for runs off the left end. The middle and right side weren't so impressive (28, 22, 30, respectively). Unfortunately, Alex was inconsistent (like that is a surprise) for pretty much every year before that. On the right side, way back when, the Rams were as good as 4th, and as bad as 27th.
Eventually, everyone knew he would be dumped. The good thing we can look forward to is that while Alex Barron was more of a peak guy (penalty here, penalty there...another penalty, good play, back to a penalty...), Bobby Carpenter was equally unimpressive throughout his career with the Cowboys. He's displayed some flashes throughout the years, but a fresh start with the Rams (and a 4-3 defense) is the best thing for him, which is good for this growing team.
In conclusion, think of this way: The Rams could certainly have used a good tackle as depth, which Barron could have been. But he was penalty prone. He never lived up to expectations. His main knack was that his heart wasn't in it. Is this the type of player you want on the team? Mentoring young tackles such as Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold? Can you honestly find yourself saying, if a tackle was injured, "It's OK everyone, Alex Barron can pick up the slack." I don't know about you, but I sure can't.
It's definitely better to get something for him then nothing. And that is just what the Rams did. Bravo.