LB Anthony Barr Intends To Sign With Jets

Anthony Barr is heading to the Big Apple. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the veteran linebacker intends to sign with the Jets.

Terms of this deal reveal how high the Jets are on Barr, with Tom Pelissero of reporting (via Twitter) the former Vikings ‘backer will earn more than $14MM per year. If the Jets are planning to use Barr as an off-ball ‘backer, that would be far and away the top such contract in the league. However, they may be planning something different.

The Vikings used Barr as a 4-3 outside linebacker, but at UCLA, the eventual 2014 first-round pick played as an edge player. Barr stands to return to that role, per’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter). This will be a fascinating experiment, in that event, and the Jets stationing Barr on the outside means they did not pay top-market price to land him. While Barr is not an experienced NFL pass rusher, he registered 23.5 sacks between the 2012-13 seasons for the Bruins.

Gregg Williams plans to keep the Jets as a 3-4 team, so it looks like Barr will serve as one of the team’s outside linebackers. The Jets entered free agency expected to aggressively pursue that position, and their No. 3 overall pick may be used on it, too — if Gang Green hangs onto it.

We heard earlier today that the Jets were eyeing the soon-to-be 27-year-old Barr. This morning, the team whiffed on Kwon Alexander, who ultimately agreed to a lucrative four-year deal with the 49ers. The Jets then shifted their focus to Barr, and the two sides apparently agreed to a deal relatively quickly.

The linebacker had spent his entire five-year career with the Vikings, earning four Pro Bowl nods along the way. The former first-rounder had another standout season in 2018, finishing with 55 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. The Vikings ultimately decided to pass on franchising Barr, a move that would have cost $15.9MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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