Anthony Barr changes mind, decides to stay with Vikings after agreeing with Jets

A reminder: Any deal between a team and a free agent that you’ve heard about on Monday or Tuesday can’t become official until Wednesday.

The New York Jets know all about it.

The Jets had agreed to a deal with Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon they didn’t have a deal anymore. Barr is staying with the Minnesota Vikings, according to reports.

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Ad’s Albert Breer reported Barr said he would join the Jets, but had to sleep on it. The Vikings upped their offer — still less than what the Jets were offering — while Barr waited. And the Jets got jilted on Tuesday. Barr’s deal will be worth about $13.5 million per year, Breer reported.

And we have the first double-cross of the NFL free-agent season. Unless Barr changes his mind again. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday to make him an offer.

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr said he would join the Jets, but changed his mind. (AP)
Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr said he would join the Jets, but changed his mind. (AP)

Nothing in free agency can become official until Wednesday

There’s probably a gentleman’s agreement between NFL teams to not keep negotiating with players once a deal has been agreed upon (let’s not act like the NFL isn’t above being on the same page with each other when it comes to transactions) during the so-called “legal tampering period.” We rarely see someone change their mind before free agency opens.

But it can happen. Will there be a time when a rogue NFL team sees contract numbers reported and decides to offer more to each free-agent target? It would be a devious way to set the market.

It wouldn’t make that team very popular, but again, nothing is official until Wednesday. Some college coaches keep recruiting players after verbal commitments. It could lead to problems in the NFL, but a lot of drama.

Anthony Barr changed his mind

When Barr agreed to join the Jets, there was a long analysis of him going back to a 3-4 rushing end in a new scheme, a position he played at UCLA. When the Jets also agreed to a deal with linebacker C.J. Mosley, it seemed like an impressive double dip at linebacker.

Then the Vikings told Barr they were willing to offer more, it seems. Barr reportedly took a little less to stay in a familiar place. It’s surprising it doesn’t happen more often.

And with that news, teams will have some anxiety about their own free-agent agreements until pen can be put to contract on Wednesday.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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