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Anthony Barr says he had to ‘follow his heart’ back to Vikings

Anthony Barr

Anthony Barr looked to have a deal all lined up with the free-spending New York Jets, and it was a nice, fat, five-year, $75 million contract.

But something didn’t feel right.

When Barr’s agent, Ryan Williams, informed him of the deal, his reaction was not what Williams expected:

“He said, ‘I feel like I just made the worst mistake of my life,’” Williams said, according to Courtney Cronin and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com.

The good news for Barr was that he did not actually sign anything yet, as the agreement with the Jets had occurred during the tampering window. That gave him the opportunity to return to the Minnesota Vikings, and that is exactly what he did.

“I was up for all morning, just looking at my ceiling, just looking for a sign,” Barr said. “Talking to everybody, trying to figure something out … I was trying to convince myself of something I knew that in my heart didn’t feel right, and I think if you follow the heart, I can live with the results.”

Barr ultimately ended up taking less money to stay with the Vikings, signing a five-year, $67.5 million contract, but it was worth it for the linebacker’s happiness:

“It happened the minute he said I’m going to go back [to Minnesota],” his mother Lori said. “There were tears. It was pure elation — relief, appreciation, feeling valued, feeling reconnected. Just a range of emotions but mostly just sincere happiness that he was getting to go back to where he got to start it all and be with the people he loves to be with, with the organization, in a city he really enjoys and has now become his second home. It just really made waiting and not knowing worth it.”

He’ll try to help the Vikings return to the playoffs next season after coming up short this past season.