With the start of free agency in the NFL on Wednesday and the “legal tampering” period kicking off in less than 24 hours, the Minnesota Vikings are making another move to clear out some space under the salary cap.
Per numerous reports, including from Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Vikings and linebacker Anthony Barr are working out a deal that would decrease Barr’s cap hit, which is currently set to be just north of $15 million. In exchange, the Vikings will void the last two years of Barr’s deal, allowing him to become a free agent after the 2022 season rather than having to wait until after 2024.
Barr was the first draft pick of the Mike Zimmer era for the Vikings, as he was taken at #9 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. He’s spent his entire career thus far in Minnesota, though a couple of years ago it appeared that he was on his way to play for the New York Jets before an 11th-hour change of heart.
Barr signed a five-year, $67.5 million contract in March of 2019, with $33 million of that coming as guaranteed money. He played in just two full games last season before suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the Vikings’ Week 3 loss to the Tennessee Titans that landed him on injured reserve.
There hasn’t been any official word yet on how much cap relief the Vikings will get from restructuring Barr’s deal, but this is similar to the deal that they made with Everson Griffen back in 2019 that, oddly enough, allowed them to sign Barr to his contract. Griffen took less money from the Vikings in exchange for an earlier chance at free agency and wound up leaving Minnesota to go to Dallas before the start of the 2020 season.
Once we get more official word on Barr’s new deal and how much it helps the Vikings with their cap situation, we will bring you an update.