It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings are committed to making a Super Bowl run this season. That’s why they have to keep Anthony Barr happy.
When the Minnesota Vikings made the decision to sign Kirk Cousins to a massive contract this summer it was a clear indication that the team intended to make a Super Bowl run this season. Cousins can certainly help Mike Zimmer’s offense, but the team need to keep Anthony Barr happy and healthy if they want their defense to continue its dominant play.
There are already signs of trouble between Barr and the team. The talented linebacker met with Zimmer this week and told his coach exactly why he’d be skipping OTAs. Zimmer didn’t divulge the particulars of that conversation but it’s pretty easy to read between the lines on this one. Barr wants a new contract.
He’s currently in the last year of a five-year contract earning a healthy $12.306 million in base salary. In other words, Barr doesn’t lose any potential compensation by missing out on voluntary workouts with the Vikings.
In a vacuum, Barr is a player who is certainly worth of another big deal. He’s been a Pro Bowler for three of his four seasons with the Vikings. His sure tackling and playmaking are two big reasons why the Vikings defense continues to be one of the most feared units in the NFL.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a simple financial issue for the Vikings. The aforementioned Cousins deal puts them in a very difficult salary cap spot moving forward. Even though Minnesota officials have reportedly identified Barr as a player they want to keep, signing him to a market rate extension could be really problematic. Simply put, the Vikings are going to need to make some tough contract choices over the next few years.
In the end, Minnesota still needs to do everything they can to make sure Barr is happy and on the field for the team this season. The Cousins signing has unfortunate ramifications about their ability to contend in the future, but it gives the Vikings the ammunition they need to make a real Super Bowl run this season. If they lose Barr to a holdout it’s only going to eradicate the massive bet they’ve made this offseason to be true contenders.