2. Use the franchise tag
The fifth-year option on Anthony Barr cost the Minnesota Vikings $12.306 million against the salary cap and the team was fine paying that for his services during the 2018 NFL season. But what if negotiations struggle and the team wants more of an opportunity to work with him?
One option the team has is to lock him down for one more year. Using the franchise tag would keep Barr around for a year but would cost the team an estimated $14.923 million according to Over The Cap, which could be more than what he would get on the open market.
Again, this puts Minnesota in a bad spot financially. A hit like that to the salary cap would eat up nearly everything they have available but they would keep the player who was used to help turn the defense around. However, it could also put a strain on relations between the linebacker and the franchise if Barr is hoping to test the market.
In the past, the Vikings have only used the franchise tag twice and both times were to allow the team to continue negotiating a long-term deal. Both Jim Kleinsasser and Chad Greenway ended up staying with Minnesota and signing five-year contracts thanks to the tag.