The Vikings held their first organized team activity this week and it was really exciting as it means that the season is almost, slowly here and that we finally got to see Kirk Cousins in a Vikings helmet (he was rocking that red quarterback jersey) which means we no longer have to deal with the photoshopped versions of Cousins in Vikings gear (Check out this video!):
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) May 22, 2018
Besides seeing Cousins play football the other big news that came out of OTA’s was the fact that Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr was absent from the voluntary practices. It’s clear that Barr has been told by his agent that this is the best way to bring attention to the fact that he is about to enter his final/contract year and wants an extension like Eric Kendricks received (among other players). It doesn’t mean that he’s upset, per se, but rather that he’s playing the game that doesn’t actually hurt his bottom line (as again, this week’s OTA’s were voluntary and he won’t be fined for skipping them). Where am I surmising that from?
First off, head coach Mike Zimmer held a youth camp at the new Vikings facility this Saturday and a few Vikings players were there, including Anthony Barr. He went out of his way to tell coach Zimmer that he was going to skip OTA’s (according to the Star Tribune).
“He came to me [Tuesday] and said he wasn’t going to be here,” Zimmer said in that article. When he was asked whether or not he was concerned about Barr becoming a distraction or not playing this pre-season, Zimmer said:
I don’t worry about those things, I just know the conversation we had, I’ll keep between myself and him.” Considering Zimmer’s history with the media and being too open, that’s surprising.
That’s not to say that he can’t afford to sit out mini-camp as well (which reportedly would cost him about $85,000). In terms of his contract this year, Barr will receive a $12.3 million base salary (which is fully-guaranteed). As stated above, Barr’s teammate and fellow linebacker Eric Kendricks received an extension already, a five-year, $50 million deal, of which $25 million is guaranteed. Barr has struggled at times in his career, mostly earlier in his career when he was dealing with a few injuries however he’s been voted into consecutive Pro Bowls, and because of that has a point that he deserves to be extended before the season starts just like basically every other player on the defense.
So, stay tuned to purplePTSD.com and VikingsTerritory.com for more information on this and everything Vikings related! SKOL!