Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign First-Round Pick Mark Barron

Training camp can’t come soon enough now for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team announced today that they have signed the No. 7 overall pick, Mark Barron, to a five-year deal.

The contract is fully-guaranteed and includes a signing bonus of $8.96 million. The Buccaneers now have all of their 2012 draft picks under contract, and have 90 players, in total, under contract. Now, Barron will be able to report on time to the start of training camp next Friday, the 27th.

At the University of Alabama, Barron started 39 out of the 53 games he played there, and recorded 12 interceptions, 237 tackles, and five sacks during his time at Alabama. Of course, Barron helped Alabama win the BCS National Championship as a senior, and was part of a defense that was ranked No. 1 in the country.

Barron was named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s best defensive back, and was also a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best overall defensive player.

He is expected to bring an immediate impact at safety and should start right away. On Thursday, Barron did not report with the rest of the rookies due to the fact that he was still unsigned at the time. Head coach Greg Schiano would have liked to have had Barron report with the other rookies on Thursday. “Well, he’s missing repetitions,” Schiano said. He also added that he was “hopeful” that Barron would “be here soon.” He definitely got his wish, as Barron was inked about 24 hours later.

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