NAPA – Billy Devaney isn’t an Alex Barron fan.
That became crystal clear on Monday, when the former St. Louis Rams general manager took aim and fired at the Raiders starting left tackle.
“He’s got the skill to play. He does not have the heart to play football,” Devaney told ESPN. “He does not like anything about the game except getting paid.”
Harsh words to be sure. They came from a GM who didn’t draft Barron and traded him to Dallas in 2010, but they don’t mesh with what the Raiders have seen since signing him this offseason.
“I only have my perspective on Alex Barron since the time he got here,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “I haven’t seen that at all from him. I’ve seen a guy who has to continue to improve and continue to work to get better. I’ve seen a guy that’s out here, working hard for this team each and every day.”
Barron did not comment when alerted to Devaney's critique.
Barron has bounced around the NFL since making 74 starts in 76 games with the St. Louis Rams, when he made $9.5 million. The 2005 first-round pick played the 2010 campaign under a $2.73 million contract tender in Dallas and hasn’t played a regular-season game since.
His career received second life with a $715,000 deal in Oakland, when he seemed to earn a reserve spot in camp and was thrust into the starting lineup when Jared Veldheer partially tore his triceps.
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Barron struggled in his first preseason start at left tackle, but continues to be the Raiders best healthy option. He is expected to start Friday's exhibition against the Chicago Bears.