Vikings LB Anthony Barr reveals why he took a pay cut this year

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /

What was a big reason why Anthony Barr ultimately agreed to take a pay cut to remain with the Minnesota Vikings this year?

It’s fair to say that Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has been underappreciated during his last few seasons with the team.

Barr missed the majority of the 2020 campaign and his absence in the Vikings defense was felt tremendously.

The Minnesota linebacker not being on the field for most of last season made a lot of people realize how important he’s been to the team’s defensive success during the last few years.

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr shares what factored into his decision to agree to a pay cut

This offseason was a difficult one for multiple teams around the NFL, including the Vikings. The league’s salary cap decreased this year by a little over $15 million and it left Minnesota scrambling to find ways to create more cap space.

During their efforts to generate more spending money this offseason, the Vikings ended up approaching Barr about restructuring his contract. He ultimately agreed to take a pay cut that created almost $3 million in cap space for Minnesota.

After restructuring his deal, however, Barr had the final two years of his contract eliminated, and he will now hit the free-agent market in 2022 instead of having to wait until 2024.

On Wednesday, the Vikings linebacker spoke to the local Twin Cities media and he revealed why he ended up agreeing to take a pay cut this year to remain with the team that drafted him.

"“I kind of didn’t want to go out like that. I didn’t want my last game being the one in which I got hurt and then missing an entire year. I didn’t want that to be my last memory as a Minnesota Viking, so that played a big factor in returning and taking the pay cut to be back.”"

Barr has missed time due to injuries in the past during his tenure with Minnesota, but his absence was never significantly long like it was last season. Missing most of the 2020 campaign clearly gave him the time to reflect and figure out what was going to be the best decision for him moving forward.

Barr has been with the Vikings for his entire NFL career and this probably played a factor in him agreeing to take a pay cut as well.

Coming off a severe injury like he is, the veteran linebacker probably felt that remaining in a familiar defensive scheme would give him the best chance to get back on track next season.

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Despite his desire to stay put in Minnesota, the 2021 campaign could still end up being Barr’s last in purple and gold.