The Jets aren't done spending big money in free agency. After agreeing to terms with receiver Jamison Crowder earlier on Monday -- the first day of the legal tampering period -- the Jets addressed the other side of the ball by agreeing to a contract with former Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The money hasn't been reported yet, but given Barr was one of the best linebackers available in free agency, he won't be cheap. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that the Jets are believed to have given Barr a contract in the ballpark of $14-15 million per season, which the Vikings weren't willing to match. The deal can't be made official until Wednesday, when the new league year begins.
Barr, the No. 9 pick in 2014, was a very productive player during his five years with the Vikings, averaging 47.4 solo tackles, six tackles for a loss, 2.7 sacks, and 4.4 passes defended per season. In Minnesota, he functioned as an outside linebacker who often times rushed the passer as blitzer, but he wasn't a pass rusher in the way that linebackers like Khalil Mack and Von Miller are for their respective teams.
What's interesting is that Barr is joining a team that figures to use him as an edge rusher, even though he hasn't been an edge rusher since his days at UCLA, where he racked up 23.5 sacks over his final two seasons. That doesn't mean he can't become an elite edge rusher in the NFL. It just means the Jets are taking a bit of gamble in trying to turn him into one.
My understanding is that Anthony Barr, an off-ball LB in Minnesota, will be used the way he was at UCLA, meaning more of an edge player. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 12, 2019
Anthony Barr lined up outside an offensive tackle and rushed the passer 46 times last season. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but we haven’t seen it since college— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) March 12, 2019
The Jets might not be done adding to their defense. According to both The Monday Morning Quarterback's Albert Breer and The Athletic's Connor Hughes, the Jets are still in the running to sign inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, the best linebacker available in free agency. With earlier on Monday, Mosley -- a significantly better player than Alexander -- figures to be expensive for whichever team that ends up winning the sweepstakes.
Not to mention, the Jets are reported to be in the mix for Le'Veon Bell. Earlier on Monday, the Jets reportedly gave Crowder
The Jets entered the offseason with loads of cap space. They're certainly spending it. Whether those signings will turn them into a competitive team remains to be seen.
In the end, it'll likely all come down to Sam Darnold's development. Having an improved defense would certainly make his job easier.