The Eagles Could Sign Longtime Vikings Defender

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mere moments after this article’s publication, Anthony Barr signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers-themed media called for the team to sign free-agent linebacker Anthony Barr after Cole Holcomb was lost for the season.

Steelers fans have not received their wish, and Barr could sign soon with the intrastate rival.

The Eagles Could Sign Longtime Vikings Defender

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweeted Monday, “The Eagles hosted LB Anthony Barr on a free agent visit today.”

Eagles Could Sign
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

A member of the Vikings for eight seasons, Barr last played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022, departing the Vikings after the 2021 campaign, and has remained a free agent since the Cowboys relationship. He’s available to sign anywhere in the NFL, and that could be with the Eagles.

Philadelphia employs these linebackers at Barr’s spot: Nakobe Dean, Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow, and Christian Elliss. And Dean is expected to hit injured reserve sometime soon with a Lisfranc injury — probably why Barr was auditioned.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni in the first half as the Philadelphia Eagles came to East Rutherford, NJ, and defeated their division rivals, the New York Giants, 48-22 on December 11, 2022. Philadelphia Eagles Came To East Rutherford, NJ, And Defeat Their Division Rivals, The New York Giants, On December 11, 2022. © Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Throughout the summer, the New York Giants, New York Jets, and New Orleans Saints allegedly had some degree of interest in Barr, but no deal(s) came together.

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 worthwhile amount.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

In his nine-season career, Barr has tabulated 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 but lost to former MLBer Albert Pujols.

Barr would fit wonderfully on the Eagles roster and allow him perhaps one final push in the postseason and maybe even the Super Bowl. Philadelphia has +550 odds to win the Super Bowl in February, third-best leaguewide behind the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

Last year, former Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph joined the Eagles midseason and later visited the Super Bowl. Barr could be the next installment.

The Eagles rank 19th per defensive EPA/Play through 10 weeks, 10 spots below the Vikings.

Philadelphia defeated Minnesota in Week 2 by a score of 34-28.


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 OverTheCap.com.