The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team with several needs across their roster. With the departure of a player like Antonio Brown, the hole left at cornerback and the team’s inability to replace Ryan Shazier at ILB all viewed as glaring needs on the roster.
What did the Steelers do in the first week of free agency? They went out and signed a wide receiver and cornerback. Not in that order, and not to be the undoubted answer at their position, but to be there as depth and players who can contribute for a team who is trying to find the combination which can bring them a seventh Lombardi trophy.
On top of the addition of Steven Nelson and Donte Moncrief, the team went out and picked up ILB/S hybrid Mark Barron, who last played for the NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams.
This is where we will take a look at the signings, and give them a grade. Granted, their overall grade won’t be known until they don the black-and-gold in an actual regular season game. With that known, we can still grade the signing, who else was available, and the likelihood of the players not just playing, but performing well for the Steelers.
Let’s get to the grades, and make sure you not only vote in the poll below, but explain your grades in the comment section below!
ILB Mark Barron
Former Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Los Angeles Rams
Contract: 2 Years
Expected Position: ILB / Sub Package Hybrid LB
When I saw the addition of Barron come through the wire, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I knew a little about him as a player, but for someone who played their entire career in the NFC, I hadn’t seen much of Barron.
As I dug a little deeper, I started to see what the Steelers were doing with the singing. Is he the answer for Ryan Shazier? No, then again, not many would be. But he does help ease the loss of L.J. Fort in free agency, and the impending release/trade of Morgan Burnett.
Could Barron be the team’s ILB next to Vince Williams in 2019? Yes, but only if they fail to add a quality player in the 2019 NFL Draft. If the team is able to secure a player via the draft to start, Barron would be the hybrid ILB to come in during sub packages and be able to both play the run and the pass.
This is something Barron is comfortable doing as a converted safety, and an area of need for the Steelers. While the price tag was a bit steep for my liking, I think Barron is a very solid addition to the defense in need of filling some huge holes.
My Grade: B
What grade do you give the signing of ILB Mark Barron?
This poll is closed
Be sure to vote in the poll above, and also let us know what you thought of the addition in the comment section below!