Giants host visit with versatile free agent LB

nfl: los angeles rams at minnesota vikings, anthony barr, new york giants
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have hosted veteran free agent LB Anthony Barr for a visit as the team prepares for its final two preseason games. Ian Rappoport of NFL Network reports that Barr and the Giants met on Thursday afternoon, however, “no deal is imminent.”

Giants host visit with LB Anthony Barr

It was reported last week that Barr was “targeting” the Giants for a visit following a visit with the New Orleans Saints. Many teams around the NFL seeking depth at the LB position are keeping an eye on Barr as he stands out as one of the best remaining players on the market.

Barr is entering his 10th season in the NFL after spending 2022 with the Dallas Cowboys. He appeared in 14 games for Dallas, making 10 starts and totaling 58 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack. Prior to this brief stint with the Cowboys, Barr spent the first eight seasons of his career as a staple in the Minnesota Vikings’ defense. Barr earned Pro Bowl honors for four seasons in a row with Minnesota (2015–2018).

At 31 years old, Barr is entering the final stages of his career. He is not the player he once was, but in New York’s thin linebacker corps, Barr could step in and immediately compete for a starting role in the Giants’ defense. Even if he does not get the nod as a starter, though, Barr would serve as a massive upgrade in depth for Big Blue.

Adding depth at a position of need

New York is paper thin at the LB position following the loss of Jarrad Davis earlier this offseason. Davis went down with a season-ending knee injury, leaving the Giants with few options behind No.1 LB Bobby Okereke.

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Barr could provide depth to New York’s defense at two positions. Firstly, as an inside LB, Barr has been a reliable talent in that position throughout his NFL career. But, secondly, Barr could also contribute as an OLB, playing on the edge in Wink Martindale’s 3-4 defensive scheme.

Coming out of college, Barr was listed as an edge rusher. The Vikings moved him inside and he has spent his entire NFL career in that position, despite the New York Jets being interested in moving him back outside in 2019. If he were to sign with the New York Giants, Barr could become a versatile contributor in the defensive lineup, serving as depth to both linebacker positions.