NFC Rival Out on Signing 4-Time Vikings Pro Bowler, Insider Says

Anthony Barr, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Anthony Barr #55 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after tackling David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Longtime Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr remains a free agent with training camps opening up this week.

And despite garnering the interest of the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, Dallas appears to be out on signing him, Dallas News beat reporter Calvin Watkins reported on July 25.

“Cowboys have had a summer long interest in FA Anthony Barr but multiple sources said no plans to sign him at this stage,” Watkins tweeted.

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The Cowboys are one of the least cap-constrained teams in the league, boasting the second-most available cap space of $22.4 million, per Over The Cap. Barr’s camp could have likely pushed for a more lucrative contract in Dallas, however, it appears the four-time Pro Bowler won’t be reaching a deal with the Cowboys anytime soon.

Barr Garnering Interest Elsewhere

Anthony Barr Career Highlights “Emotionally Scarred”2020-10-08T01:00:01Z

While Dallas is out on Barr for the moment, his name is avid among a pair of other destination as well.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported on July 20 that Barr has also garnered interest from the Washington Commanders.

“[Barr has] been training as if he will be in some team’s training camp,” Wolfson said. “I texted you many weeks ago saying keep an eye on the Dallas Cowboys. So I know the Cowboys certainly are interested in Anthony Barr. Washington has also kicked the tires, but right now, I would say keep an eye on the Dallas Cowboys.”

ESPN’s Jenna Laine predicted that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might also pursue Barr before Week 1.

“The Bucs will sign an outside linebacker before the start of the regular season,” Laine wrote on July 25. “The Bucs still have Pro Bowler Shaq Barrett. While Joe Tryon-Shoyinka takes over for Jason Pierre-Paul, who remains unsigned, and Anthony Nelson will serve in a rotational capacity. But beyond those three, they’re thin and unproven with Cam Gill being the only other player having regular-season game experience.

“The list of quarterbacks they’ll face this season is downright absurd. Carl Nassib, Anthony Barr and Ryan Kerrigan are among some intriguing names still available.”

The Buccaneers just signed former Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph to a one-year deal, which could add traction as the two of the longest-tenured Vikings could reunite in Tampa Bay.

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Vikings Still Need Help at Outside Linebacker

While there’s been no chatter of whether Barr could return to Minnesota, the Vikings are still in dire need of veteran experience as pass rushers.

Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are both coming off injuries as the team’s starting edge rushers. Third-year edge rusher D.J. Wonnum is the only other outside linebacker who has playing experience. Patrick Jones II, Zach McCloud, Andre Mintze, Janarius Robinson and Luiji Vilain have yet to register a single NFL snap.

The defense’s shift to a 3-4 defensive scheme could present some troubles for several of the younger edge rushers as well. Barr played as a 3-4 outside linebacker at UCLA, where he tallied 23.5 sacks in his final two seasons for the Bruins.

A lot has changed since then. Barr was a vital cog for Mike Zimmer’s 4-3 defense and has struggled with injury over the past couple of seasons.

But if Barr remains unsigned, he could be worth a call as a rotational edge rusher and locker room leader in Minnesota.

“It’s definitely bittersweet to end this way, but it kind of is what it is, so,” Barr explained during a January 9 press conference. “I’ve been doing it long enough to understand what kind of comes next, keep things in perspective and just be ready for whatever happens in the future.

“I’m very thankful to be a part of this organization, the Wilf family, much appreciation [to ex-GM Rick Spielman and former head coach Mike Zimmer] for taking the chance on the kid back in 2014, making my dreams come true, and it’s been a pleasure being a Viking for the last eight years. I’m not too sure what the future holds, but whatever it is, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Minnesota.”

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