Mike Zimmer makes it clear Vikings LB Anthony Barr won’t be traded
The Minnesota Vikings spent much of the offseason solidifying the roster on both sides of the ball by adding more proven talent while locking in key players to long-term lucrative deals.
However, this has notably left Pro Bowl outside linebacker Anthony Barr out of the mix, as he’s still currently in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract that will pay him $12.3 million for the 2018 season. According to Ben Goessling of The Star Tribune, head coach Mike Zimmer has strongly voiced that the franchise is not looking to move Barr by any means.
Mike Zimmer said Anthony Barr is "unequivocally not being traded," correcting a report that said the Vikings were trying to move him. News to me that there was even such a report out there. In any case, Zimmer said Barr was out because of a "tweak." He should practice today.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) August 3, 2018
It has become a strange situation involving Barr, as he has more than proved to be a key factor on defense in the front seven alongside Eric Kendricks, who inked a five-year, $50 million extension back in April. Others who have received new, lucrative long-term deals this offseason are defensive end Danielle Hunter on a five-year, $72 million contract, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs earlier this week also on a five-year, $72 million deal.
Barr has notably been left out of the mix despite being a cornerstone of the defense. In his first four years, he has racked up 283 tackles with 10.5 sacks and six forced fumbles while earning three Pro Bowl selections, earning a reputation as one of the top young outside linebackers in the league. He is also coming off a career-high 75 tackles and 1.0 sacks while playing in all 16 regular season games for the second straight year.
Barr has a strong desire to remain in the fold for the long haul, but it may come down to him proving on the field in 2018 that he deserves a new, lucrative deal that would cement him as the centerpiece of their stout defense for the next several seasons.