Well, that wasn’t always true, back in 2019 Anthony Barr said yes to joining Gang Green until he didn’t.
The Jets thought they had signed the former Minnesota Vikings’ first-round pick to a juicy five-year deal worth over $75 million. Shortly after agreeing to the contract, Barr got “cold feet” and felt like he “made the worst mistake” of his life, per ESPN.
Ultimately he reneged on his agreement with the Jets and returned to the team he had spent his entire career with by re-upping in Minnesota. Barr wanted to go back to the Vikings so bad he even took less money to do it ($67.5 million with $33 million in guarantees).
Fast forward a few years later and here we are in 2022 with Barr once again an unrestricted free agent and it seems like there is a chance at an unlikely reunion.
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Oh My Goodness
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently found potential homes for some of the top free agents remaining on the market. One of the fits he loved was Barr finally going to the Jets in 2022:
“Remember when these two almost struck a lucrative free-agent deal before he settled back into Minnesota? Well, with the Vikings adding at LB this year, he could finally relocate to New York and give Robert Saleh’s unit added experience/versatility.”
The 30-year-old linebacker had spent the first eight years of his career with the purple people eaters and is now looking for a new home.
There is a reason Barr remains a free agent just a few short weeks ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.
The former UCLA product has struggled to stay healthy over the last four years missing a total of 25 games during that span.
Here is a look at his career production in the pros:
- 17.5 sacks
- Eight forced fumbles
- Five interceptions
- Over 495 total tackles
- 44 quarterback hits
- 39 tackles for loss
No Question They Need Help
The original free agency plan for the Jets was to “revamp their linebacker corps” with Barr and CJ Mosley, “not just one or the other” according to ESPN.
Then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had a vision for what Barr would be in this Jets defense. He saw him as an athletic piece of clay that could move around the defense and maximize his abilities both as a blitzer and also in coverage.”
While Williams isn’t here anymore, the Jets do have a very creative defensive mind in Robert Saleh. If they brought him in they could use him either as a straight-up linebacker, there is a gaping hole next to Mosley. Or they could experiment with him, as they were hoping to do in 2019, as a pass-rushing presence on the EDGE.
Either way, the Jets could use help in both of those areas. To be candid this reunion would be a major surprise. Especially considering all the scorched earth that likely exists between player and agent versus the organization.
After getting their hand burned from touching the pot once in the public eye, it seems unlikely that the Jets would reach back out to potentially get burned again, even if he could help this defense.
Although this has been the craziest NFL offseason in history, so you can never say never.