Anthony Barr, Vikings Reportedly Agree to Restructured Contract Ahead of FA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr reacts after a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Roger Steinman/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings and Anthony Barr are reportedly finalizing a restructured contract, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.  

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The #Vikings are finalizing a revised contract with LB Anthony Barr, who will now make $10 million in 2021 — a fully guaranteed $9.4M salary, plus $500K in per-game roster bonuses and a $100K workout bonus — instead of $12.9M and can become a free agent next March, per source.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler first reported Sunday that the two sides were in talks about a reworked deal.

Barr is set to count for $15.1 million against the salary cap in 2021 and is signed through 2023. Fowler reported the Vikings are willing to shave off the final two years of his contract, allowing him to become a free agent in 2022.

In some cases, restructuring a contract already on the books can be pretty straightforward. Perhaps a player takes less money, but it's still more than he'd likely earn on the open market were his contract to be ripped up entirely.

Barr, on the other hand, has a little more leverage.

After allowing the sixth-most yards (393.3) in the NFL, the Vikings can't afford to cut the 28-year-old. And Minnesota knows he'd probably have a robust market in free agency, even with the drop in the salary cap.

Perhaps that's why Barr was reportedly reluctant about a restructure.

"I feel confident in saying this, that I hear Anthony Barr is anti-any sort of restructure. He's got a big [cap] number," KSTP's Darren Wolfson said on his podcast (via FanSided's Josh Hill). "Could they extend him? Is there a way to do that? Maybe. But I am told he is not interested in a restructure."

Gaining the ability to collect a new deal earlier than he's currently due would provide Barr with a strong incentive to meet the Vikings halfway and ease their cap situation. Spotrac projects Minnesota to have $9.6 million in available cap space, so saving several million dollars could go a long way.

Barr was limited to two games in 2020 because of a torn pectoral. If he signs an amended deal that expires in 2022, then he'd have a full season to stabilize his value ahead of the next offseason.