Welcome to the 2019 Jets Free Agency Profile series! Up until the start of the 2019 free agency period in March, I’ll be running through a bunch of names the Jets could potentially bring in with their hoard of cap space. Let’s get into it!
Name: Anthony Barr
Birthday/Age: March 18th, 1992 (age 27 on September 1st)
Height/Weight: 6’5, 255
FA type: Unrestricted
College: UCLA (drafted 9th overall by the Vikings in the first round of the 2014 draft)
Team(s): Vikings (2014-18)
Position/usage: 4-3 outside linebacker, primarily Sam
2018 stats: 13 games, 55 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, 4 QB hits, 2 passes defended, 1 forced fumble
Previous salary: Accepted fifth year option for 2018 season. $12.3M cap hit in 2018
2018 - Nigel Bradham (signed by PHI, age 28): 5 years, $40.0M, $14.0M guaranteed
2018 - Anthony Hitchens (signed by KC, age 26): 5 years, $45.0M, $25.1M guaranteed
2017 - Dont’a Hightower (signed NE, age 27): 4 years, $35.5M, $19.0M guaranteed
Jets connections: None notable
Measurables (via mockdraftable.com):
- Fits the Jets’ potential need for another linebacker. If the team does make the switch to primarily running out of more 4-3 fronts, they’re going to need another linebacker. Darron Lee and Avery Williamson should find fits - but the guys who were playing outside linebacker in the Jets’ 3-4, specifically Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland, probably don’t have enough speed, range, and coverage ability to play as a 4-3 backer. It’s not impossible to find usage for those two, but ideally the Jets use their hoard of cap space to find the guys who they know should fit their core philosophies like a glove. Barr has been succeeding in Mike Zimmer’s 4-3 for years.
- Very productive pass rusher for the position - 13.5 career sacks and 31 total quarterback knockdowns, strong totals for a player in his role. Via PFF: “[In 2018] he led all linebackers with a 13.8 pass-rushing productivity percentage, accumulating 23 pressures on just 94 pass-rush snaps.”
- Experience dropping into coverage often. What if you had Darron Lee as your Will linebacker and Anthony Barr as your Sam? I know Lee is an unpopular player among this fanbase, and Barr has been volatile in the NFL, but if nothing else, that is a massive ton of athleticism to have in your linebacker core. Perfect for the way the league is trending. Via PlayerProfiler.com, Lee has a 96th percentile speed score at the position (forty time adjusted for weight and height), while Barr is at the 85th percentile.
- Opinions on him are all over the place. PFF doesn’t seem to like him at all, but Bleacher Report NFL 1000 had him as the league’s second-best 4-3 OLB a year ago in 2017.
- Missed three games in the middle of 2018 with a hamstring injury. Didn’t seem to struggle much upon return, though. Has played 74 out of 83 possible career games (89%), an average of 14 games per year. Only two sixteen game seasons in his five year career
Here are some words on Barr from the Vikings SB Nation blog, The Daily Norseman.
Barr is exactly the type of player Mike Zimmer wanted to build his defense around. He’s able to adapt to any scheme and can alter his role to fit whatever players are around him. He’s built up chemistry with Kendricks and the rest of Minnesota’s front seven, and it’d take time for the Vikings to build that back up with someone else.
That’s why the Vikings need to do everything they can to keep Barr. The 2018 season was a disappointment by almost any metric, but this team isn’t going to be blown up. Spielman needs to address the offensive line and Cousins needs to, quite frankly, figure it out. If those things happen, there’s no reason the Vikings can’t be a Super Bowl contender next season.
The Vikings still have to be operating in a Super Bowl window, and getting rid of Barr would almost certainly make the team worse in the short-term. With the way the rest of the roster is constructed, that would be a mistake that could cost the Vikings a chance to compete at the highest level.
What do you think? Should the Jets prioritize adding another linebacker?
Should the Jets prioritize adding another linebacker in this year’s free agency period?
This poll is closed
Yes, should be one of the top needs on the list
Yes, but it’s not a top-tier priority
Yes, but only with a bargain bin flier
No, they’re OK at this position