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Rams reach deals with Mark Barron, William Hayes

The Los Angeles Rams lost two key pieces of their defense on Wednesday but were able to retain two as well.

After losing cornerback Janoris Jenkins and safety Rodney McLeod to the Giants and Eagles, respectively, the Rams agreed to contracts with safety/linebacker Mark Barron and defensive end William Hayes.

Barron agreed to a five-year, $45 million deal to remain with the team, a source told ESPN's Ed Werder, and Hayes agreed to a three-year deal worth $21 million maximum, a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Barron, 26, was a breakout star for the Rams in 2015, especially after he replaced injured linebacker Alec Ogletree on the weak side.

Officially, the Rams listed Barron as a weakside safety, but he found ways to be productive at safety and linebacker, finishing the season with 113 tackles, a sack, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

Barron's versatility has offered the league a glimpse of a new breed of player -- the former 'tweener turned safety turned linebacker. Deone Bucannon of the Arizona Cardinals plays a similar role.

After the season, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the team "desperately" wanted Barron back in the fold and insisted it would have room for Barron even after Ogletree returned.

The Rams acquired Barron via trade midway through the 2014 season, and he played 166 snaps in nine games after his arrival. It wasn't enough to persuade the Rams to pay the costly freight of the one-year deal that goes with exercising the fifth-year option the team had on him before last season.

Hayes, 30, has been the Rams' resident merry prankster in his four years with the team but also a key contributor to the team's defensive line rotation.

Although Hayes was signed mostly to add depth, he's become a de facto starter the past two seasons, as end Chris Long has missed chunks of both years because of injury.

Hayes had 53 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2015 and has posted 21.5 sacks in four seasons with the Rams.

Originally a fourth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Hayes has had a long-standing relationship with Rams coach Jeff Fisher, and it left Hayes saying after the season that he wanted to keep playing for Fisher.

ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.