MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have kept the heart of their defense intact with a hefty commitment to linebacker Anthony Barr.
For the four-time Pro Bowl pick, a late offer to stay with the only NFL team he’s played for proved too valuable to pass up.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the deal, Barr agreed Tuesday to re-sign with the Vikings on a five-year, $67.5 million contract with $33 million guaranteed and more money available through escalators. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced by the Vikings.
Barr first made a verbal agreement to join the New York Jets, according to reports by ESPN and the NFL Network, but he ultimately changed his mind to remain with the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2014.
In an Instagram post Tuesday night, Barr confirmed his decision and thanked the Vikings ownership, executives and coaches for the opportunity to return.
“It’s been a crazy couple days, but I’m where I want to be,” Barr said. “I believe in our locker room. I love my guys! Back to work!”
Barr was the first draft pick by the Vikings under coach Mike Zimmer, whose 4-3 base defense has been a natural fit for the sleek, 6-foot-5, 255-pound Barr.
The variety of assignments the scheme has put him in at the strong side spot have minimized pass-rushing opportunities, though, and limited his career total to 13½ sacks.
The Vikings entered the offseason with little cap space, after spending big on Cousins, Diggs and Hunter in 2018. They jettisoned two players, guard Mike Remmers and safety Andrew Sendejo, for more room. Another starter, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, reached an agreement with the Cleveland Browns. He’ll likely be replaced by Shamar Stephen, who according to multiple reports has agreed to return to the Vikings, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2014.
Vikings clear space by
cutting Remmers, Sendejo
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have a little bit more flexibility to spend on offseason renovations, after moving on from two veteran starters.
By releasing right guard Mike Remmers and declining an option on safety Andrew Sendejo’s contract, the Vikings cleared more than $10 million in space under the salary cap on Monday as NFL teams were allowed to begin negotiating deals with players eligible for unrestricted free agency.
The Vikings also tendered contracts to safety Anthony Harris and backup offensive tackle Rashod Hill, who were set to become restricted free agents when the market opens on Wednesday.
After guaranteeing $84 million over three years for quarterback Kirk Cousins in the last offseason and having extensions for defensive end Danielle Hunter and wide receiver Stefon Diggs kick in, the Vikings entered the 2019 league year with far less wiggle room but just as many weaknesses to address.