Now that Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter have signed their extensions, the Vikings’ defensive fortification efforts are nearly complete. They now have Harrison Smith, Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Kendricks and Hunter under contract long-term. Barr represents the final piece for this current veteran core.
Stefon Diggs is the other key Viking whose contract is up after 2018, and Minnesota brass has been talking with both Barr and Diggs about extensions. Representatives for both Barr and Diggs have been contacted by the Vikings for extension talks, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
These conversations began in June, per Krammer. This would continue the summer-extension blueprint Rick Spielman‘s utilized the past three years. Griffen, Rhodes and Joseph all agreed to deals within a 10-day span around the start of the Vikings’ previous training camp, and Smith and Hunter re-upped with Minnesota in June of 2016 and ’18, respectively. Kendricks agreed to his extension this April.
Barr said recently scant progress had been made on his extension, but the Vikings are in the final stages of this years-long plan — one that saw Spielman authorize re-ups for Joseph and Griffen in 2017 despite the duo having multiple seasons remaining on their old contracts. Finalizing deals for Diggs and Barr would represent a significant victory for Minnesota’s front office, but they won’t be as easy now that a fully guaranteed $28MM-AAV deal for Kirk Cousins is on the books through 2020. The Vikings possess approximately $14MM in cap space.
PFR recently looked at the extension cases for both Barr and Diggs, and CBS Sports’ Joel Corry believes the Vikings would let these starters reach the open market rather than using the franchise tag. Due to on- and off-ball ‘backers being classified together, a Barr tag would cost the Vikes more than $16MM. Diggs, who is set to make $1.96MM this season, would see a $17MM-plus tag if the Vikings took that course of action next March. So, the next few weeks will be critical for the Vikings.
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