4 Minnesota Vikings players with the most at stake in 2021

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Anthony Barr /

Anthony Barr – LB

There was plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Anthony Barr this offseason. The linebacker’s 2020 campaign ended prematurely due to injury, and considering the cap constraints, his name was one that might have been released this year.

As it turned out, the Vikings opted to keep him around for what is now the final year of his contract, which was the right call to make. Barr is a difference-maker when firing on all cylinders, and providing there are no further complications to stay healthy, a return to his old form is highly probable in 2021.

Barr and the Vikings agreed to a restructure this offseason that voided the final two years on his deal, making him a free agent in 2022. If he wants a longer-term commitment in Minnesota, two things need to happen next season.

First and foremost, he has to produce the goods on the field. The second is proving he can be relied upon to stay on the field and avoid the troublesome injuries that restricted Barr to just two games in 2020.

This is a situation that could go either way, in all honesty. But the Vikings will be a far better team if Barr is 100 percent throughout the campaign.