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If you needed another reason to be convinced Anthony Barr isn’t returning to the Minnesota Vikings, look no further than the recently surfaced photo of newly-signed outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith in a No. 55 jersey.
Barr, who is an unrestricted free agent, still remains unsigned over a month after the start of NFL free agency. Per the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, lingering knee issues are one of the reasons why the former four-time Pro Bowler hasn’t landed with a new team yet.
So it isn’t a situation of him holding out for a possible reunion down the road with the Vikings on a more team-friendly deal.
A dagger might have been put in that pipe dream when a photo of Smith wearing Barr’s former Vikings jersey number, which is the same number Smith wore for the Green Bay Packers, was uploaded on his official merchandise website.
The team is clearly moving on without their former first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Barr has played the last eight seasons in purple, and assuming he’s healthy, he’ll be playing in a different uniform in 2022.
Smith’s actual jersey number has yet to be confirmed, but it would be shocking if the team didn’t allow him to don the same number that struck fear into the hearts of Vikings fans over the years as a member of the rival Packers.
It’s Green Bay’s turn to feel that fear now.