Alex Barron (Getty Images)
Almost out of football, former first round pick of St. Louis, gets another chance to make it in the NFL.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Tackle Alex Barron signed a free-agent contract
with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday as he hopes to revive his career
after sitting out the past two seasons.
Barron, a former first round pick by St. Louis in 2005, has started
just one game since 2009. After playing sparingly in Dallas in 2010,
Barron missed the entire 2011 season with New Orleans with a knee
injury and was cut in training camp last summer by Seattle.
Barron said he is once again healthy and that time away from football
only reinforced how much he wanted to continue to play the game.
"The love for the game is unmatched," he said. "It's almost equal to
none. When you're away from it, it takes out of you; it takes away from
Oakland was one of the few teams to show interest in Barron this
offseason as the Raiders look to bolster their offensive line as they
shift from a zone blocking scheme to a power-based offense under line
coach Tony Sparano.
Barron has experience playing both left and right tackle, although
Jared Veldheer is entrenched on the left side in Oakland. The Raiders
recently re-signed right tackle Khalif Barnes. Barnes also has some
experience playing guard.
Barron is the first offensive addition made by the Raiders this
offseason as general manager Reggie McKenzie has spent the opening
weeks of free agency focusing on building up the defense.
"I felt like they had the most interest and the most belief and I went
along with it," Barron said. "I feel as though I can come in and help
the team however it may be."
Barron started 74 games in his first five seasons with the Rams after
being drafted 19th overall out of Florida State. He struggled in St.
Louis with 43 false starts, 13 holding penalties and 33 sacks allowed
in his five seasons, according to STATS LLC.
He was traded to Dallas before the 2010 season but started just one
game for the Cowboys.