The Minnesota Vikings will pick up the fifth-year option for linebacker Anthony Barr. They won’t be doing so for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
The Vikings announced Monday they exercised Barr’s fifth-year option, which would keep the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft in Minnesota for the 2018 season at an amount of $12.3 million. However, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last week, the Vikings will decline their fifth-year option on Bridgewater, who tore his ACL and dislocated his left knee last Aug. 30.
Bridgewater’s status for the 2017 season is still cloudy, and the Vikings have maintained there is no timetable for when the quarterback could return. Bridgewater’s fifth-year option would be guaranteed against injury until the start of the 2018 season, so the quarterback’s status makes it difficult for the Vikings to exercise an option that would be worth $12.2 million.
Coach Mike Zimmer has said he wants Bridgewater to continue his career in Minnesota, but Zimmer has also said there is no plan for the Vikings at quarterback other than Sam Bradford until they know more about Bridgewater’s future.
“It’s when he gets healthy, we’ll worry about it,” Zimmer said at the NFL owners meetings on March 29. “We don’t know when it’s going to be. If he comes in tomorrow and is 100 percent, which he won’t, but if he did, then we’d have to adjust things. But right now we don’t know when he’s going to be ready.”
Barr made his second Pro Bowl last season, but the honor came at the end of a disappointing season that saw the UCLA product post only two sacks, force one fumble and recover one fumble. Zimmer said in December that Barr has “a tendency to coast a little bit,” which meant he wasn’t making as many of the big plays he’d provided in previous seasons. His best year came in 2015, when he broke up seven passes, intercepted one, forced three fumbles and recorded three sacks in 14 games.