Anthony Barr Sounds Like a Man Bidding Adieu
The Minnesota Vikings hired head coach Mike Zimmer in January 2014 and drafted linebacker Anthony Barr three months later as one of Zimmer’s first orders of business.
An era of change was alive and well — and now another period of change is likely.
After the Vikings toppled the Chicago Bears in Week 18, emotions ran high. Zimmer seemed to soak in U.S. Bank Stadium one final time, saluting the crowd and taking photos with his players.
Not long after, Anthony Barr — who most believe will move on in 2022 — also acted like a player bidding adieu. Barr’s contract is effectively up, and Minnesota is unlikely to pour cap space into a 30-year-old (in March) linebacker.
So, Barr is posting stuff like this to Instagram.
Barr also said to reporters:
“I love coach Zim. I know he’s catching a lot of heat, but players play the game too. I think you can point the finger at us as much as you can point it at him. Somebody’s gotta be the fall guy, I guess. It kinda is what it is. I don’t know if the fans really appreciate him the past few years as much as players have. I kinda feel the same way about myself. I know my teammates and my coaches appreciate me, and I feel like maybe that’s not the same case with the public, the fan world. I know I get my love and all that, but for the most part, I feel a little under-appreciated. I think it kinda is what it is on that. I still got all love for the fans, know how fans are. It’s all good.”
Indeed, Barr was underappreciated. The man traveled to four Pro Bowls consecutively from 2015 to 2018. He was a captain of the Vikings defense, infrequently stuffing stat sheets but directing traffic and anchoring Zimmer’s vision. And when Barr says he felt “a little underappreciated,” that means he felt very underappreciated.
Barr continued, opining on his future after the win over Chicago:
“It’s been a pleasure being a Viking for the last eight years. I’m not sure what the future holds.”
If Sunday’s game was Barr’s Vikings swan song, it was a gem. He finished the contest with 11 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. He went out in style, especially as the Vikings notched the win.
Barr orchestrated a marvelous play against the Ravens this season, too, but the Vikings offense bungled his overtime heroics.
Drafted from UCLA, Barr has played more games as a Viking than Jared Allen, Daunte Culpepper, Chuck Foreman, Steve Hutchinson, Ryan Longwell, Pat Williams, and Wade Wilson.
Per OverTheCap.com‘s Jason Fitzgerald, Barr should command $5 million per season on the open free-agent market.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).