The Jets are adding Anthony Barr to their defense according to Adam Schefter.
Former Vikings’ LB Anthony Barr intends to sign with the NY Jets, per league source. Jets get a pass rusher.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
Unsurprisingly, the pricetag is large.
At this point I think there are more questions than answers with this move.
The biggest one is what Barr’s role will be. Nobody seems to be clear.
My understanding is that Anthony Barr, an off-ball LB in Minnesota, will be used the way he was at UCLA, meaning more of an edge player. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 12, 2019
A closer look at how the Jets will use new LB Anthony Barr: https://t.co/XkWavHhLPR— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 12, 2019
The Vikings made a play to keep him, but the Jets had more financial flexibility. Deal will likely come in north of $14M/year. pic.twitter.com/FT3ANoztqO
The Jets have made it clear through back channels that they would like to sign Barr, according to sources. Gang Green envisions the four-time Pro Bowler as a WILL or Mike linebacker who would be a chess piece in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ scheme. Barr would, in effect, have a role similar to the one that Jamie Collins, who is also a free agent after recently being cut by the Browns, had in the same scheme.
Although Barr, who will turn 27 next week, would not be a true edge rusher, the feeling on One Jets Drive is that he can be a quality pass rusher in pass-rushing situations. The bottom line is that the 6-5, 255-pound Barr would be an off-the-ball backer with a versatile skill set to do just about everything.
In the $14-15 million range, Barr would be one of the highest paid defensive players in the league. It might be difficult to justify that payday in a non-edge rushing role. On the other hand, he hasn’t been a full-time edge rusher since college so it isn’t clear how well he would convert.
What is clear is the Jets are taking a big swing on a very talented player. The upside is certainly there.