In what was an expected move, the Los Angeles Rams have decided to release starting ILB Mark Barron:
A pre-free-agency surprise: Rams released starring inside LB Mark Barron, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2019
Barron — who started 12 games in 2018 — has dealt with nagging injuries for the better part of two seasons now, only starting 16 games once with the Rams which was all the way back in 2016. In 2018, Barron registered 60 tackles, one sack, three tackles-for-loss, one quarterback hit, one forced fumble, one pass deflection, and one safety. It became typical for Barron to hit the sidelines on third downs as he was substituted in favor of SS Marqui Christian. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips even had SS John Johnson III kick down into the box and play the nickel linebacker/big safety role.
Barron’s release saves the Rams $7.6m on the cap, though the Rams do inquire a $2m cap penalty, per Spotrac. That would bring the Rams’ total cap space up to around $31m.
The current logical replacement is likely 2018 fifth-round pick Micah Kiser. Kiser didn’t see any playing time as a regular defensive starter in 2018, though he did impress in a small sample size in the preseason and played a role on special teams.