Anthony Barr was at the Vikings facility last weekend alongside some teammates, lending a helping hand at Mike Zimmer’s youth football camp.
However, the linebacker did not show up Tuesday when the Vikings began the first of 10 voluntary practices, known in the NFL world as organized team activities.
“He came to me [Tuesday] and said he wasn’t going to be here,” Zimmer said Wednesday following the Vikings’ second OTA.
Barr, 26, is one of a few cornerstone Vikings entering the final year of his contract. When asked if Barr’s absence was related to his contract status, Zimmer declined to elaborate.
“I don’t worry about those things,” Zimmer said. “I just know the conversation we had, I’ll keep between myself and him.”
Barr is due a fully-guaranteed $12.3 million base salary, coming via a fifth-year option on his rookie contract. The Vikings drafted Barr with the ninth overall pick in 2014. He has since been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls.
This phase of the Vikings’ offseason is voluntary. Barr is not at risk of losing any money because he doesn’t have any workout bonuses. The Vikings’ first mandatory practice is June 12, which begins a three-day minicamp.
If Barr is holding out for a new contract and misses the three-day minicamp, he would risk being fined a maximum of nearly $85,000, according to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Robison takes $2M pay cut
The Vikings’ longest-tenured player, Brian Robison, needed to take a $2 million pay cut to return for a 12th NFL season.
Robison, 35, saved the Vikings about $2.4 million in salary cap space by agreeing to a restructured contract earlier this month. The defensive end will now make the veteran minimum of $1.015 million along with a $90,000 workout bonus. He was set to make $3.5 million under his old deal.
“I’ve said since Day 1 I wanted to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota,” Robison said. “If that’s something I have to give back $2 million to do, I’ll gladly do it.”
Griffen, Elflein held back
Other than Barr and undrafted receiver Jeff Badet, the Vikings had nearly full attendance during Wednesday’s OTA session open to reporters.
Three starters, however, were noticeably held back. Defensive end Everson Griffen, who last year played through plantar fasciitis, center Pat Elflein and safety Andrew Sendejo were sidelined.
More than a handful of others, including tight end Kyle Rudolph, running back Dalvin Cook and receiver Laquon Treadwell, participated in position drills and then rehabbed off to the side during team sessions.