After spending the first five years of his career in Minnesota, it appeared that Barr waswith the Jets, but the important thing to remember about the NFL’s tampering period is that players aren’t locked into their new contract until they sign their deal, which can’t take place until after the free agency period officially opens at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Until we reach that Wednesday deadline, players are allowed to back out of any deal they agree to, which is what Barr did with the Jets. Teams also are allowed to back out of any trade before that deadline; however, we haven’t seen any teams back out of a trade yet.
So how did the Vikings get Barr to come back to Minnesota? By throwing a lot of money at him.
According to NFL.com, the Vikings are giving Barr a five-year deal worth $67.5 million ($13.5 million per year), which includes $33 million guaranteed. The deal has a maximum value of $77.5 million, which means Barr could potentially make an average of $15.5 million per year during the length of his contract if he’s able to hit all his incentives. On the Jets’ end, they were believed to have made an offer somewhere between $14 million and $15 million per year.
The one big advantage the Vikings likely had in their negotiations is the fact that Barr is familiar with their defense. After the Vikings hired a defensive-minded coach in Mike Zimmer back in 2014, he went out and made Barr the first pick of his head coaching career when he selected the former UCLA linebacker with the ninth overall pick. Since then, Zimmer used Barr as his focal point to build one of the best defenses in the NFL.
In five seasons with the Vikings, Barr has totaled 13.5 sacks and been voted to the Pro Bowl four times.