The Coolest Part about the Anthony Barr Reunion

Anthony Barr Again Linked to NFC Team
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsFeb 10, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA.

If you’re new to Minnesota Vikings fandom, the team’s faithful absolutely adore a reunion story.

For example, retired defensive end Everson Griffen rejoined the club in 2021, and fans were through the roof with excitement.

The Coolest Part about the Anthony Barr Reunion

Fast forward to the 2023 midseason, and a similar move occurred Monday when the Vikings reportedly signed linebacker Anthony Barr after an injury will temporarily sideline Jordan Hicks.

The Coolest Part
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And while the reunion itself is intoxicating, the coolest part about it is the circumstance, mainly pertaining to Barr personally. In short, he didn’t have to choose Minnesota — the 31-year-old had options.

Mere minutes before news of Barr-to-Minnesota was announced, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted, “The Eagles hosted LB Anthony Barr on a free agent visit today.”

Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean is expected to land on injured reserve, so Philadelphia evidently pursued Barr, if only for an audition. Yet, Barr chose the Vikings, which might’ve been unthinkable a month ago. After Week 5, Minnesota owned a 1-4 record, Justin Jefferson was heading to IR, and trade fire sales were items of daydreams.

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For Barr to choose the Vikings — over the Eagles — is a wordless statement about Minnesota’s in-season transposition and peak into Barr’s soul. The man doesn’t have too many NFL seasons left in the tank, and most folks would probably believe Philadelphia has a better shot at reaching or winning the Super Bowl than Minnesota.

Nevertheless, Barr chose the Vikings.

Fire Up Biggest
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A member of the Vikings for eight seasons, Barr last played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022, departing the Vikings after the 2021 campaign. He remained a free agent in 2023 until Monday, although he met with multiple clubs in the summer.

Drafted by Minnesota in 2014 at the start of the Mike Zimmer era, Barr played 98 games in eight seasons for the Vikings, recording four Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2018. From 2020 to 2021, Barr missed 63% of all football games for the Vikings, and Minnesota’s defense suffered accordingly. In Barr’s first six seasons, the Vikings defense ranked #1 in the NFL per defensive EPA/Play. From 2020 to 2021 — largely without the services of Danielle Hunter and Barr — the franchise sunk to 23rd in the same metric.

Barr tallied a 59.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in Dallas last year while playing 609 defensive snaps, a substantial amount.

Anthony Barr Could
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It is unclear if Barr will play as early as Sunday night when the Vikings travel to Denver, but that is not a totally unrealistic scenario. The Vikings currently live in the NFC’s No. 7 seed, are 0.5 games back of fifth place, and 1.5 games behind the Detroit Lions in the NFC North.

Based on the last five weeks, Minnesota has morphed into a playoff contender, and a Barr signing would’ve been laughable in early October. Now, however, he chose the Vikings over the Eagles, which is homage to Minnesota’s turnaround and friskiness in the next two months.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by