Saffold, Barron, and Smith: a Prediction

Barron plans to sign his tender and report to Rams Park in time for the start of OTAs (organized team activities) in mid-May. The Rams have yet to confirm it, but all indications are that Jason Smith will be switched to left tackle this season, which would mean Barron and Saffold could compete against each other at right tackle.

— STL Today: “Rodger Saffold pick serves notice to Barron

I can see the Rams keeping Barron as competition for Saffold, and in their ever-positive approach to younger players, are perhaps hoping to finally light a fire under Barron. Perhaps their ideal scenario is keeping all three players, starting Saffold at guard for a year, and keeping super-sub Adam Goldberg available off the bench.

But I don’t see it happening that way. At this point, Barron is what he is. No amount of motivation will keep him off the top of the penalty charts, nor keep opposing bull rushers from bowling him over on their way to throwing the Rams’ new face-of-the-franchise into the fake rubber dirt.

If Jason Smith is healthy enough to make Barron expendable, I foresee a training camp battle that, for all intents and purposes, is over before it begins. But the Rams will continue to publicly praise Barron for his work ethic and durability, and will deal him in August for a pick, a la Tye Hill.