Ever since defensive end Danielle Hunter signed his big money contract extension a few weeks ago, everyone has been wondering whether or not the Minnesota Vikings would next turn their attention to linebacker Anthony Barr or wide receiver Stefon Diggs. If the Voice of the Vikings is to be believed, that’s a question that we could wind up waiting for the answer to for quite a while.
In an interview with KWSN Radio in Sioux Falls, Paul Allen told Sports Talk with Greg and John that he didn’t expect either of those two players to sign a contract extension prior to the part of the 2018 season. You can hear the entire 12-minute segment at the link above, but here’s what Allen had to say about the potential Diggs and Barr extensions.
Host: We haven’t chatted with you since Danielle Hunter signed his contract extension. There’s Stefon Diggs and there’s Anthony Barr that could be options for the Vikings for that to happen as well before we start the season. Typically we hear of contract extension announcements during Training Camp, usually early. What’s your anticipation of that happening for one player, if not both, and what are your opinions on who it should be?
Allen: I don’t think either will be signed by the time we start the season. Now, I may be wrong with that, but I think the players think it behooves them to sit back, play the season, and wait. Now, at the end of the season the Vikings have the opportunity to put the Franchise Tag on one of those guys, so that could foil somebody’s plan right out of the gate. But the Vikings don’t use the Franchise Tag very frequently. I mean they used it X amount of years ago on Chad Greenway and before that Jim Kleinsasser. So it’s very fluid. If one gets signed I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. When it comes to the preference of the two it’s very 50/50. Despite having Kirk Cousins, Diggs, Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, this is a defensive-minded team and Anthony Barr is very important to what they do. So, if the identity of this team is defense, then I would have to say Barr is probably the more important of the two.
Now, as we’ve said in this space in the past, you can say what you want about Paul Allen’s announcing style and whether you like him or not. (Personally, I’m a fan and have been for quite a while.) But there’s nobody that is more plugged to the happenings around the Vikings’ organization than he is, and more often than not if you hear it from him, it’s accurate. If you’re waiting for news of the next big contract extension to come out of Eagan, it sounds like it could be a while.