Anthony Barr ended his short-lived holdout and reported to the Vikings’ offseason team activities on Tuesday, notes Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). Goessling had previously reported that Barr was a no-show for the first portion of OTAs. At the time, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer declined to share whether Barr’s absence was related to his contract, but did say Barr told him in advance that he wasn’t going to be there.
Barr, 26, is headed into the final year of his contract and will be earning $12MM this season after the Vikings picked up the fifth-year option on their former first-round pick. Barr became a star nearly instantly upon entering the league, and has made three straight Pro Bowls. The Vikings have a number of key players entering the final year of their deals, and definitely don’t want any headaches from one of their vital cogs.
Barr said back in January that he wanted a long-term extension with the Vikings, but the team has been reluctant to give him one. Since Barr isn’t a great pass rusher for an outside linebacker (he has just 10.5 sacks through four seasons) some have speculated the Vikings may just let him walk after this season.
After giving Kirk Cousins the first ever three-year fully guaranteed contract back in March, the Vikings don’t have a ton of disposable cap money. It’s entirely possible they decide to use their resources elsewhere and not retain Barr. If that’s the case, it makes sense why Barr was in no rush to report to the team. Either way, he’s back now, and the Vikings are surely glad to have one less distraction to deal with.
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