After giving the Jets the runaround, Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr will be staying put in Minnesota.
Barr has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $67.5 million contract with $33 million guaranteed and incentives that makes his entire deal worth up to $79.5 million, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN.
The five-year pro will make $13.5 million per season. With cap space at a premium and the offensive line needing mending, re-signing a linebacker might seem confusing but there's good reasons to bring Barr back.
Why it was smart
Barr is another lynchpin in Mike Zimmer's defense. He's made the Pro Bowl four times and is a capable player who can rush the passer and drop into coverage.
Don't be fooled by his 3 sacks last season. Matthew Coller of SKOR North points out that Barr created 23 pressures on 103 pass-rush snaps. That was the fifth best figure among linebackers last season, and a strong effective rate of 22 percent meaning he created havoc one out of ever 4-5 times he was instructed to go after the quarterback.
He also had eight tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and 55 tackles in 13 games last season.
After a disastrous game in Week 4 against the Rams, Zimmer retooled the he used Barr in pass coverage and the linebacker still ended up with a 'good' coverage grade by Pro Football Focus.
Barr's on the record that he prefers to be a pass-rusher and maybe he'll be used more in that role going forward, but he's a serviceable coverage linebacker which is hard to find in the NFL.
Plus, the thought of playing for the Jets made Barr sick to his stomach. Seriously, at least that's what Adam Schefter reported.
Why it was dumb
The elephant in the room and the question Vikings fans will be wondering until Week 1 of the 2019 season is if they could've used that money to repair their offensive line.
They still have free agency, the NFL Draft and could even swindle a trade to improve their moving company.
Although, it's worth noting that many free agent linemen are already inking deals such as Rodger Saffold, Matt Paradis and Ja'Waun James, among many more. The clock is ticking fi the Vikings want to upgrade the line in free agency.
To simply pay Barr his money,the Vikings had to release Mike Remmers, terminate Andrew Sandejo's contract and are apparently in talks with Everson Griffen to restructure his contract to create more wiggle room.
Barr is a good player, but clearly the Vikings need serious mending on the offensive line. Not to mention they still need to find a third wide receiver, a new backup running back –Latavius Murray is reportedly signing with the Saints – along with defensive line and safety depth.
Time will tell if signing Barr means another year of poor run blocking and Kirk Cousins running for his life.