4 reasons why the Vikings restructuring Anthony Barr was brilliant

(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr /

The Minnesota Vikings re-working the contract of Anthony Barr is a thing of beauty.

2014 was a big year for the Minnesota Vikings. The team was making some major changes to their coaching staff by hiring former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to be their new head coach and he immediately started making some changes to how things were done for the purple and gold.

One of the first surprises of the Mike Zimmer era in Minnesota was the selection of UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr at No. 9 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. It was extremely rare to find a mock draft that had the dynamic defender coming to the Vikings, but that pick made it clear that the franchise was now under new leadership.

Barr arrived in Minnesota and made an impact in his rookie year. 70 combined tackles, four sacks, three fumble recoveries, three defended passes, and one defensive touchdown was an impressive stat line for the linebacker. He continued to play at a high level going forward, earning four Pro Bowl nods and an All-Pro Second Team selection in 2015.

Heading into the 2021 NFL season, the feeling toward Barr is a little different. Minnesota recently restructured Barr’s current contract to clear some salary-cap space and the new terms of the deal also make him a free agent after the 2021 season.

This contract restructure isn’t something the Vikings are used to handing out. But the way the team handled the restructure of Barr should be beneficial for the future of both the team and the player, especially for the purple and gold. So what are some of the reasons why the contract restructure was brilliant?