Anthony Barr and the Vikings are approaching a forgettable anniversary.
The veteran linebacker first realized last spring he wasn’t getting a contract extension and sat out a week of voluntary OTAs while buying an insurance policy on himself. In a December sit-down with the Star Tribune, Barr said he personally got involved in contract negotiations, only to quickly eject.
The Vikings’ offers were “not really what I had expected,” Barr said.
The Vikings could take control of the contract of the four-time Pro Bowl player Tuesday, but it seems an unlikely action given the cost, the team’s salary cap situation and the front office’s history with the franchise tag. A two-week window has opened for teams to use the one-year franchise or transition tags, which the Vikings last placed on linebacker Chad Greenway in 2011 before agreeing to a long-term deal before the start of that season.
The deadline is 3 p.m. on March 5 to apply the tag.
There are no indications the two parties are close or yet reengaged on an extension, with the last public comments coming from Barr when he said, “I could be anywhere,” before the Pro Bowl.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was last made available to reporters on Nov. 6 and said “we’ll always look at ways to keep our players the best we can” when asked if the team was still working to keep Barr.
Money is a big factor. The Vikings can create upward of $20 million in salary cap space with a few cuts (Everson Griffen, Andrew Sendejo and Mike Remmers), but there are still 13 unrestricted free agents, including Sheldon Richardson, and other needs led by offensive linemen.