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*Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has had an interesting offseason, if we are using interesting the same way many Minnesotans do (usually followed by a long and exaggerated “hmmmmm” and a bone-deep sigh). He watched his fellow linebacker Eric Kendricks become the first of the Big Four extension candidates to cash in with the Vikings, then skipped some non-mandatory (but strongly suggested) workouts, then returned to the Vikings and talked a couple of times about how things are going.
Now it’s late June, and Barr did a recent SI.com interview in which he shed a little more light on how he feels about an extension with the Vikings. Here’s Barr:
“I don’t really get into the numbers (with contract negotiations). It’s more about feeling valued and respected than the actual dollar amount. They kind of go hand in hand, I suppose, but I love being in Minnesota and I love my teammates. I want to be there long term. I’ve felt I’ve worked really hard, improved from my first day there to where I am now. I think I’m a totally different football player. It’s not really up to me. I feel like all the work I’ve done so far, you’ve got to go off that. You can’t really go off what-ifs or this or that. Let the chips fall where they may. It’s not my decision; it’s on them, and I would like to get it.”
There’s nothing really shocking in there, but the “It’s not my decision; it’s on them” part is interesting at least. This is just Barr’s side of it, but clearly he is setting himself up as very willing to sign and positioning the Vikings as the ones — at least right now — who aren’t committing.
It will be interesting to monitor as the summer lurches forward, with Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter also targets for extensions and the Vikings trying to maneuver within the salary cap.
*The Timberwolves’ Instagram account posted a picture Monday of general manager Scott Layden at the New York City Pride celebration this weekend in support of both the NBA and WNBA. And … then the Wolves’ account spent most of the rest of the day battling homophobic commenters and bigots, calling some of them out in the process. The full trail of comments is a mix of good and bad — about what you would unfortunately expect, even in 2018.
*Kennys Vargas is having a rough year. After spending parts of the last four seasons with the Twins while trying to establish himself as a big league player Vargas, 27, has been at Class AAA Rochester this whole year and is hitting just .214 with a .633 OPS. To make matters worse, Vargas had a rough end to Rochester’s 3-2 loss to Syracuse on Monday. With the score tied 2-2, Vargas fielded a sharp ground ball at first base, stepped on the bag and attempted to throw home … but he tripped on the base and fell as the winning run crossed the plate.