Anthony Barr made his first public comments Thursday after flip-flopping on an agreement with the New York Jets and re-signing with the Minnesota Vikings.
The still-Vikings linebacker explained to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano onFree Agency Frenzythat he knew from the moment he accepted the Jets’ offer on Monday afternoon that he had made the wrong decision.
“I had conversations with my agent and my family trying to figure out what we were going to do. You know, talking to my agent, talking about numbers and figures, it was like OK, I think we can do New York,” Barr said. “I said that and I hung up the phone and I instantly just didn’t feel right, it just didn’t feel right. Something just didn’t feel right. In my heart, I knew I wanted to be, all along I’ve been saying it for the last year and a half as I’ve gone through this process, I wanted to remain a Viking. And we were able to figure it out. So I made a commitment to my heart, to myself, to my team and I’m happy to be back here.”
Barr reportedly agreed on Monday evening to a deal with the Jets for an undisclosed amount and for an undisclosed period of time. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, the outside linebacker went back on his agreement with Gang Green and agreed to sign back with Minnesota on a five-year contract worth up to $77.5 million with $33 million in guarantees.
“I wanted to be a Viking,” Barr responded when asked whether he didn’t want to be a member of the Jets. “It’s the team that drafted me five years ago. It’s home. I’ve done a lot of stuff in the community with my foundation. My teammates are my family, this coaching staff has done so much for me not only as a person, but as a player.”
Reports trickled out that Barr’s change of heart came after he fell ill on Monday evening after he and his agent had agreed to join New York. The linebacker explained Thursday that’s not exactly how it went down.
“It wasn’t necessarily physically ill. It wasn’t the middle of the night,” Barr explained. “It was mostly when I hung up the phone after saying, ‘Yeah I can do New York.’ My stomach dropped, I kind of get some cold sweats.
“It was like you’re about to go down the altar and marry the wrong woman. I think I’m making a bad choice. I did what I felt was right for myself.”
Minnesota would agree. After re-signing Barr, the Vikings retained Everson Griffen on a restructured deal, essentially getting the whole front-seven gang back together for 2019, save for Sheldon Richardson.
“I want to continue to ride with the guys that we built, you know, we built this organization five years ago,” Barr concluded. “When I got here, they were struggling. We came in and we started to change things around. It’s a testament to the coaching staff, to all the hard work, to the great players that we have. That’s our main goal always.
“We’re right there, we’re right on the doorstep.”