Anthony Barr Will Join One of Vikings Most Hated Foes if Physical Passed

Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the Houston Texans at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Texans 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Update: Anthony Barr and Kareem Hunt left New Orleans without contracts and remain free agents. — August 8th, 3:20 pm CST.

Anthony Barr served as a staple for the Mike Zimmer-led Minnesota Vikings defense from 2014 to 2021.

In fact, Barr’s tenure with the Vikings exactly aligned with Zimmer’s — both men arrived in 2014 and departed after the 2021 season. He was the only player to hold the distinction.

Anthony Barr Will Join One of Vikings Most Hated Foes if Physical Passed

And during that timeframe, Barr and Zimmer presumably despised the New Orleans Saints, one of the Vikings most hated foes, then and now. Well, now, if Barr passes a physical, he’s mere minutes or hours from joining the former enemy.

Anthony Barr Will
Nov 13, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer (L) shakes hands with Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) prior to the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted Tuesday morning, “The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign both Kareem Hunt and Anthony Barr, if both players pass their physicals and are in shape, per sources.”

The tweet is also noteworthy because Hunt, a running back, was sideways linked to the Vikings via free agency in the last couple of weeks, although mainly through the fan-driven rumor mill.

Rick Spielman Stoked
May 9, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman (left) and linebacker Anthony Barr at Winter Park Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings drafted Barr to start the Zimmer era in 2014 — the very first draft pick, in fact — and he played 98 games in eight seasons for the Vikings, attending 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.

After leaving the Vikings following the end of the 2021 season, Barr latched onto the Dallas Cowboys, where he registered a 59.7 grade from Pro Football Focus while playing 609 defensive snaps, a valuable amount.

Oct 13, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) recovers a fumble during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Barr, 31, will join this group of Saints off-ball linebackers if he passes the physical:

  • Demario Davis
  • Peter Werner
  • Zack Baun
  • Anthony Barr
  • D’Marco Jackson
  • Ty Summers
  • Nephi Sewell
  • Ryan Connelly
  • Anfernee Orji
  • Nick Anderson
Danielle Hunter
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) and defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) celebrate after a play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

In his nine-season career, Barr has banked 553 total tackles, 48 QB hits, 41 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, and five interceptions. He was also nominated for a Humanitarian Award at the ESPYs last summer. The Saints defense ranked 10th per EPA/Play in 2022, so Barr will join a productive group, at least on paper.

New Orleans also employs former Vikings Jake Bargas (TE/FB), Ryan Connelly (LB), and Storm Norton (OT), and the Saints take on the Vikings on November 12th at U.S. Bank Stadium. Barr will face his old team twice in back-to-back seasons; the Cowboys utterly walloped the Vikings in primetime last year.

Barr missed three games last year due to a knee injury.

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