Despite reportedly agreeing to a deal with the New York Jets, linebacker Anthony Barr has now reportedly signed a deal to return to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Anthony Barr era with the New York Jets lasted about as long as a New York minute.
After reports indicated that Barr had initially agreed to sign with the Jets, reports have since come out stating that Barr has now decided to re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings. As first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Barr has indeed spurned the Jets and backed out of his initial verbal agreement with the team.
This is a disappointing blow to the Jets offseason which had been shaping up very nicely to this point. On top of Barr, the team has also agreed to terms with linebacker C.J. Mosely, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, and wide receiver/special teamer Josh Bellamy, the former two being welcome additions to the starting lineup.
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Barr was expected to be a versatile chess piece for the Jets defense as he shifted back to more of an edge rusher role, reminiscent of his time at UCLA. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would have been able to utilize Barr in a variety of different ways making use of his ample athleticism, pass rush traits, and coverage ability.
But alas it was not meant to be.
The Jets will now have to pivot and look at address edge rusher in other ways. Many of the top free agent targets are off the market already with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith having agreed to deals with other teams. One name that could be interesting is former Kansas City Chief Justin Houston who remains unsigned.
If not in free agency, the Jets could look to explore the trade market in their search for an edge rusher. The likes of Jadeveon Clowney, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dee Ford, and Frank Clark could all be available options.
Of course, there is always the NFL Draft which is considered deep in edge talent this year. In fact, Kentucky’s Josh Allen projects similarly to Barr in the pros making him a very intriguing prospect. Regardless, the Jets will certainly need to change their plans following this setback.