TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Mark Barron will get an opportunity to shed a label as an underachiever with a new team.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday gave up on the plan that the third-year safety would develop into an impact player on their struggling defense, trading him to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for fourth and sixth-round picks in the 2015 draft.
The Bucs also made one other move at the NFL trade deadline, sending reserve linebacker Jonathan Casillas to the New England Patriots.
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”We have a lot of respect for Jonathan and Mark as players. We appreciate their hard work and what they did for us here,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said.
”In some of these cases, we find a partner where they feel their services are needed more there then they are here, and that’s the case here,” Licht added. ”We wish them the best, and nothing but the best.”
Barron, who turned 25 on Monday, was the seventh overall selection in the 2012 draft, but did not play up to expectations after helping Alabama win two national championships in college.
The Bucs nearly set a NFL record for yards allowed during his rookie year, and this season Tampa Bay (1-6) ranks last in total defense and points allowed.
Casillas started the first three games of the season before losing the strong-side linebacker job to Danny Lansanah, who has returned two interceptions for touchdowns. The Bucs sent him and a sixth-round pick to the Patriots, receiving a fifth-round pick in return.
The deals leave the Bucs with eight picks in next year’s draft.
Barron started all 37 games he played for the Bucs, finishing with three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one sack. He was credited with 48 tackles and three passes defensed this season.
Major Wright, who played for Bucs coach Lovie Smith for several seasons in Chicago, likely will move into the starting lineup. Playing time also could increase for younger safeties Bradley McDougald and Keith Tandy.
Casillas is a sixth-year pro who was in his second season in Tampa Bay after beginning his career with the New Orleans Saints. He started seven of 17 games he appeared in with the Bucs, but was inactive the past two with a sore hamstring after going two games without playing a snap on defense.
To make room for Casillas, 27, New England released offensive lineman Chris Barker.
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