LB Anthony Barr Reportedly Plans to Sign with Jets After 5 Seasons with Vikings

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) watches against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Linebacker Anthony Barr is on the move, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that he "intends to sign" with the New York Jets.

With Barr headed to the Big Apple, many are curious to see how the Jets will utilize him off the edge.

Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

This will be interesting. Barr has been a 4-3 off-ball LB his entire career, but the Jets badly need 3-4 edge rushers. https://t.co/tiP3XRWyVj

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Jets are closing in on a deal with LB Anthony Barr, as @AdamSchefter said. Barr’s a favorite of new DC Gregg Williams. A Swiss Army knife at LB.

Connor Hughes @Connor_J_Hughes

The #Jets loved Barr, his versatility, and what he could bring to defensive pass rush. When Trey Flowers went to the #Lions (passing up on offer from Dolphins), it opened door for Barr to sign with #NYJ. Gregg Williams is going to have a ton of fun with this guy.

The 26-year-old hit free agency this offseason after playing out the full term of his rookie contract. Originally drafted ninth overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, he has developed into one of the key players on an elite defense.

Andy @AndyCarlsonShow

Anthony Barr had his best PFF graded season in 2018 (71.4). Only 2015 was higher (89.6!). Barr also set career highs in run defense grades (74.7) and tackling (81.1).

Barr put up those numbers on the strength of recording 55 combined tackles, two passes defensed and three sacks last season.

It wasn't an accident Barr recorded two sacks in a 41-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 15.

"I feel like we've been playing to my strengths the last few weeks, going forward, doing stuff like that, rushing the passer," Barr told SKORNorth.com's Matthew Coller. "That was something we worked on pretty tough all offseason. Starting to see those things come to fruition a little bit and that's a positive for myself and the team."

Because the Vikings have been so effective at drafting and developing their own talent in recent years, a lot of their players came due for contract extensions in close proximity.

Among the notable stars who have been given long-term commitments by Minnesota are safety Harrison Smith, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. That doesn't include the three-year, $84 million guaranteed deal given to Kirk Cousins last offseason.

Because of Minnesota's recent string of big contracts, the franchise came into this offseason with just $5.3 million in available cap space, per Over The Cap. Now, the team has just $13.4 million to spend on new additions and retaining its key free agents.

Barr is coming off an inconsistent 2018 season that made him expendable to the Vikings. He's a potentially strong buy-low candidate for the Jets given his age and previous success on the field.