Rams football: Top pick Barron signs five-year deal

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams first-round pick Alex Barron ended a two-week training camp holdout Wednesday and signed a five-year contract.

As a senior at Florida State, Barron was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the country's top college offensive lineman. He was taken 19th overall in April by St. Louis.

Rams coach Mike Martz said he does not expect Barron to be a starter by the beginning of the season. Martz gave Barron the job shortly after the draft, but demoted him to second team after the rookie struggled in a minicamp.

"You don't ever want to box a guy in, but it's going to take him some time, no matter how good he is," Martz said. "No way he'll be ready for the opener.

"It's just too bad, but it's done. What's done is done and let's move on."

In recent days, Martz has been critical of Barron's agent, Roosevelt Barnes. Neither Martz nor Barnes answered telephone messages from the AP.

Barron signed only two days before the Rams' preseason opener at home against the Bears. He was listed third on the depth chart at right tackle in the team's game release, behind Grant Williams and Matt Morgan.

Barron was primarily a left tackle in college and is moving to the right side where the Rams used several players last year. Kyle Turley was the starter entering training camp but missed the entire season with a back injury and subsequently was released.

Williams and Blaine Saipaia started at the position last year.

The Rams have signed or agreed to deals with 10 of their 11 draft picks. Only third-round selection Richie Incognito, coming off knee surgery, is unsigned.

Barron is the first offensive lineman taken by the Rams in the first round of the draft since they made tackle Orlando Pace the top overall pick of the 1997 draft.

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