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Rams to exercise Michael Brockers' fifth-year option

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The Rams will keep defensive tackle Michael Brockers in St. Louis through at least 2016. Safety Mark Barron's option, however, won't be picked up.

The team will exercise Brockers' fifth-year option, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday.

Brockers was drafted No. 14 overall in 2012 -- and would have gone off the board at No. 6 had the Rams not traded down.

The former LSU star will earn over $5 million in 2016 after signing a four-year, $9.52 million contract as a rookie.

Although Brockers hasn't made an impact as a pass rusher, he's the run-stuffing specialist on the NFL's best defensive line. Now that Nick Fairley has joined the rotation, Brockers will likely be limited to early downs and obvious running plays.

With Brockers' option picked up, Robert Quinn under contract through 2019 and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald just getting started, the defensive line will be a strength in St. Louis for the foreseeable future.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the team will decline the option on Barron, who was taken No. 7 overall in 2012. The Rams acquired the safety in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last October. 

It's not surprising the Rams wouldn't pick up the option. With Barron drafted in the Top 10, the formula for calculating the fifth-year option is derived by averaging the 10 highest-paid players at the position -- whereas picks No. 11-32 use the top 25 paid players at the position.

The $8.263 million it would cost the Rams to pick up the option was impractical for a disappointing player who started just two games in nine appearances for St. Louis last year and will be battling for playing time -- and possibly a roster spot -- during training camp.  

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