EAGAN, Minn. — One day after the Vikings parted ways with two veteran starters, a handful of others are jumping into free agency feet first, some signing tenders with new NFL clubs while others have decided to stay put.
The biggest name being bantered about Tuesday was outside linebacker Anthony Barr, who NBC's Pro Football Talk reported as signing with the New York Jets. After numerous sources said the deal was confirmed, social media erupted with news that Barr had backed out of his Jets deal to remain with the Vikings.
One of the league's best when engaged, the multi-time Pro Bowler and UCLA alumnus has remained inconsistent during his time in Minnesota. It was widely assumed the 26-year-old Barr would seek big money, more than the Vikings would be able to pay due to salary cap concerns and other needs in the lineup.
There is a big spot to fill on the 'inside' of the Vikings D, with the departure of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Richardson, who played with the Vikings last season on a 'prove it' one-year deal, agreed Tuesday to a three-year, $39 million contract with Cleveland, a person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press.
Richardson, who has played with three teams since 2013 and been suspended twice by the NFL, will receive $21.5 million guaranteed, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because league rules prohibit teams from announcing signings until 4 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. Central) Wednesday.
ESPN was first to report Richardson's agreement.
On the widely-reported but not-yet confirmed front is the departure of running back Latavius Murray, who NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero says has agreed to a four-year, $14.4 million contract with the New Orleans Saints. Pelissero reports that the Saints couldn't reach a deal with veteran Mark Ingram and felt pressure to get a deal done with Murray before he signed with another club.
Murray rushed for 578 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry for the Vikings in 2018 as Dalvin Cook returned from a torn ACL and was mostly healthy. Murray could play an early-down and short-yardage role with the Saints.
On Monday the Vikings announced that they were cutting ties with offensive lineman Mike Remmers and safety Andrew Sendejo.
Among those listed as free agents whose names have not yet been tied to deals are as follows.
- Ameer Abdullah, running back
- Dan Bailey, kicker
- Tom Compton, offensive line
- Nick Easton, offensive line
- George Iloka, safety
- Tom Johnson, defensive tackle
- Brett Jones, center
- Cedrick Lang, tight end (ERFA)
- Josiah Price, tight end (ERFA)
- Aldrick Robinson, wide receiver
- Marcus Sherels, cornerback
- Trevor Siemian, quarterback