TUSCALOOSA AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Mark Barron #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide intercepts a pass intended for Brett Brackett #83 of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to terms with their first pick in the draft, No. 7 Mark Barron. According to NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi, the deal is fully guaranteed and worth $14.5 million over four years, with no offset language. Barron’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, was on record expecting a $9 million signing bonus. The base salaries of the deal are $390,000 in 2012, $1.047 million in 2013, $1.705 million in 2014, and $2.362 million in 2014. This deal is very similar to the deal for last year’s seventh overall pick, Aldon Smith. Smith signed a four year, $14.384 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
With the completion of this signing, which is expected to happen sometime tonight, the Buccaneers will have signed all of their 2012 draft class. The signing of Mark Barron allows him to report to camp next week. The negotiations caused Barron to miss Rookie Camp, but veterans report next week so Barron will be able to practice with the whole team. Barron is going to be relied upon a lot this year, and the Bucs are hoping that he can become the dynamic playmaker this defense has been missing. With Barron now officially a Buc, he will team with Ronde Barber in the backfield and cornerbacks, Aqib Talib and Eric Wright. If Barber can make a smooth transition into safety, then the Bucs should have a very solid defense. Aqib Talib had his assault with a deadly weapon charges dropped, Eric Wright had his DUI charges dropped, and it is possible that all four of these men will be on the field during the first game of the regular season. The defense will be full of talent, but it is up to the players to put forth the effort that was lacking last season. Hopefully Mark Barron can bring the type of presence for the Bucs that Troy Polamalu brings for the Steelers.