With the free agency period in the NFL starting in just two weeks, the Minnesota Vikings still have a decision to make about linebacker Anthony Barr and his potential future as a member of the team. Today, we got word from a respectable source that they spent at least a portion of last offseason attempting to make it someone else’s decision.
On Paul Allen’s show on KFAN today, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that the Vikings attempted to trade Barr last offseason, when he was playing on the fifth-year option season of his rookie deal.
Here’s the money quote from Schefter:
“I would be really surprised if he’s back in Minnesota. I go back to last year at this time, my understanding was that he preferred to be on the west coast in California. My understanding was that they would be open and receptive to listening to offers for him. Nothing every materialized. I was waiting for him to be traded before the draft...it didn’t happen but with the way that it unfolded and some of the things I’ve heard behind the scenes, I would be surprised if he would be back [in Minnesota].”
I think that this is something that Vikings fans have been expecting for a while. Last offseason, Barr saw players like Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, and Stefon Diggs all get big money extensions while he was left out in the cold. Knowing what we know now. . .that the Vikings attempted to deal him before the start of the 2018 league year. . .that makes a bit more sense now.
Barr has had a decent career in Minnesota, and has been an integral part of the Vikings’ defense since his rookie season. At this point, however, as Schefter says, I’d be pretty surprised if Barr was back with the Vikings in 2019. The Vikings are up against the cap as it is, and if he really wants to play on the West Coast, there are a couple of teams out there with a ton of cap space that will be able to make a run at him and give him the pass-rushing role he seems to want.
So, if you were holding out hope that Anthony Barr would be back with the Vikings next season. . .well, sorry to burst your bubble, but at this point I’m not seeing it.