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Rams keep Mark Barron, William Hayes

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The Rams are losing strength in their secondary this free agency period, but seem committed to bolstering the front seven.

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Mark Barron will remain with the team in L.A., agreeing to a five-year deal worth $45 million, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Defensive end William Hayes also agreed on a three-year deal worth $21 million.

Controlling the run, rushing the passer and covering potential mismatch receivers are all good things, and Wednesday's early signings indicate that the Rams will remain steady as they head into a new locale.

The team lost safety Rodney McLeod to the Eagles and cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the Giants Wednesday, both on massive deals.

Barron, a former top 10 pick, has come on as a converted linebacker. He started 12 of 16 games at both safety and linebacker last year and logged 76 tackles, a sack and five passes defensed. Allowing him to add some bulk and develop as a linebacker is not the worst thing in the world. As the NFL continues to evolve, positional lines will continue to blur. Barron just happens to be ahead of the curve.

Hayes has been with the Rams since 2012. A valuable addition from Tennessee, the former fourth-round pick logged 21.5 sacks over his last 62 games, only 20 of which were starts. The team is bracing for the loss of defensive end Chris Long, who they cut last month.

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