Barr, Bridgewater agree to contracts with Vikings

  • Article by: MATT VENSEL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 21, 2014 - 7:16 AM

Deals for the first-round picks leave only three unsigned in the draft class.

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Vikings first-round draft choices Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

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The Vikings finalized rookie contracts with their top two draft picks, outside linebacker Anthony Barr and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and only three of their 10 selections remain unsigned.

Barr, the ninth overall pick in the draft, agreed to terms of his deal early Tuesday. Later in the morning, the team announced that Bridgewater, the 32nd pick, had signed his rookie contract, along with outside linebacker Brandon Watts and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen.

The contracts for Barr and Bridgewater are four-year deals with a team option for a fifth year, the standard for first-round picks per the collective bargaining agreement. Watts and Stephen, who both were seventh-round picks, signed four-year contracts. Barr’s deal was confirmed by an NFL source.

Third-round defensive end Scott Crichton, third-round running back Jerick McKinnon and sixth-round safety Antone Exum have not yet agreed to terms. The Vikings are expected to finalize deals with those players soon, though, as the current draft system slots players into set salary parameters based on their draft spot.

Barr and Bridgewater are two of the six 2014 first-round picks who have signed or agreed to terms. The others are No. 5 pick Khalil Mack (Raiders), No. 12 pick Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants), No. 14 pick Kyle Fuller (Bears) and No. 20 pick Brandin Cooks (Saints).

The Vikings had their eyes on Barr, an outside linebacker from UCLA, throughout the draft process and selected him after trading back one spot in the first round on May 8. During his two seasons as an outside linebacker at UCLA, Barr made 149 tackles, forced nine fumbles and racked up 23.5 sacks. He also had 40.5 tackles for a loss.

While Barr was practicing with the Vikings for the first time during the team’s rookie minicamp over the weekend, the Vikings and Barr’s representation began discussing a deal. Barr is back in California now and per NFL rules can’t practice with the Vikings again until the June 17-19 mandatory minicamp because classes still are in session at UCLA.

Bridgewater, however, remains in town to participate in the team’s voluntary offseason program. Bridgewater, whom the Vikings targeted and selected after acquiring the last pick of the first round from the Seahawks, has made positive early impressions the coaching staff.

During his final season at Louisville, Bridgewater completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns with four interceptions. He tossed 72 touchdown passes over three collegiate seasons.

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