The Bucs And Anthony Barr

February 10th, 2019

One of the great wild cards in this year’s free agency class is superstar durable Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

How sweet he would look in the Bucs’ new blitz-happy defense.

Coming out of UCLA in 2014, the No. 10 overall pick was pegged as a 3-4 linebacker at 6-5, 255 pounds with tons of athleticism. But he went to the Vikings with new head coach Mike Zimmer and his 4-3 scheme. There Barr has made the last four Pro Bowls, and he’s missed just nine games in his five-year career.

His contract is ending and he’s turning just 27 next month, Barr will break the bank and the Vikings might not be able to afford him, a byproduct of their loaded roster and expensive quarterback.

Raise your hand if you’d love to see the Bucs go with a 3-4 defense with Barr and Lavonte David rushing the passer in Todd Bowles’ highly-aggressive scheme. Joe’s hand is up.

Being a great coach is about maximizing talent, and Barr might be the most talented player likely to hit free agency this offseason. He’s certainly got more juice than injury-prone Kwon Alexander.

Joe would have no problem if the Bucs’ big bold move to fix the defense in March added Barr to the roster.

Joe gets that many fans are clinging to traditional thoughts of the Bucs running a 4-3 defense and fan favorites like Kwon and Gerald McCoy. However, change is inevitable and Joe has no fear about blowing up one of the most dreadful defenses in Bucs history.

Bruce Arians says he is not in rebuild mode, but he’s not talking about the defense when he says that. Joe can promise you that.

63 Responses to “The Bucs And Anthony Barr”

  1. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    I am all for trades, cuts and additions to win. I am not married to any player on this team. I want Bruce and Licht to make the big moves, and the moves that might not be popular, as long as they win.

  2. Stanglassman Says:

    Depends on what you mean by traditional. When I think of the first Bucs great defensive play I think of the 3-4 defense of ‘79 that lead the team to the NFC championship game. At no fault to the D lost to the Rams 9-0. The Bucs are traditionally a 3-4 team.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    Barr has always impressed me, but I can’t see the Vikings letting him loose. What’s interesting Joe is that he missed “just 9 games in his 5-year career” & folks drool over him. GMC missed just 7 games during this same last 5-year period and a lot of JBFers call him Mr Softie & whine about him not being durable.

    Bucs desperately need a LB … but a MLB. Right now we have nada, zip, zero, zilch. Might be wrong, but tend to think that’s THE most important position on the defense, more-so because he’s supposed to be the FIELD GENERAL, call plays, and oh ya, plug the middle. Would love to see us get CJ Moseley, but I doubt we could afford him (made $8.7 mil last year on his 5th-year option & will surely be looking for more this year). Jordan Hicks really impresses me too, but doubt that Philly lets him go either. Hopefully Beckwith makes it back, but we may very well need to draft a MLB in the Top-3 rounds this year.

  4. Kalind Says:

    Not sure about Kwon being injury prone…isn’t that a tad overstated Joe? I thought his ACL and broken arm were the only 2 injuries he’s had??

  5. Bird Says:

    Middle linebacker is probably most important position in 3-4

    He would make Gerald McCoy 13 mil contract expendable. Plus Kwon would be low balled at best but would likely be out the door. I’m fine with both . You got to get as many studs on your team as possible.

    I’m all for it. They have to cut the dead weight to free up more money.

  6. Pa Privateer Says:

    I understand McCoy being a better 3tech DT, but why the hell can’t we use him as a 34DE on certain downs while switching back and forth in a hybrid Defense?

    This whole thing seems overblown in my opinion. I see the Patriots line up 5 LBs at times and other teams try all sorts of mixes of DL and LBs.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All of these expensive players being trotted out…..and we have no money…..

  8. Bird Says:

    Defense rules.


    We kinda said same thing at same time.
    I’m in moderation though so not sure when it will drop.

  9. Jean Lafitte Says:

    It would cost us some serious capital to entice him to play for the Bucs. Guarantee not many or any at all free agent players wake-up in the morning and say “I’m gonna go play for the Bucs” without some kind of huge reward (bait) dangled in their face. Barr would be nice but at what cost? We already know if we sign him and he doesn’t work out we get no compensation for him when he’s released.

    I.M.O. I think we need to concentrate on the draft, and develop our own.

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All of these expensive players being trotted out…..and we have no money…..

    Well, it IS “silly season.”

    That said, I’d rather have Barr than Alexander.

  11. Not there yet Says:

    I’m not for breaking the bank on anyone even Winston. I’d prefer coaches do their job and coach up the talent. Can’t be loaded salary wise on both sides of the ball. Licht do your job and keep finding linebackers late in the draft. I can’t wait to see how the defense was evaluated by who stays and who goes and who they target in free agency. Can’t go after Barr anyway unless a lot of cuts are gonna be made along the d line

  12. bucsfaninchina Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:

    All of these expensive players being trotted out…..and we have no money…..

    YET 🙂 Wait til the cuts and the trades start happening.

  13. Alstott up the gut Says:

    I would very much welcome this move. Barr has a big impact on games and I remember watching him come out of UCLA looking dominant at times. I am fan of Kwon, but I watched players run away from him a lot last season. This would be a solid upgrade.

  14. Andrew Says:

    Hasn’t BA been on record saying LVD would make a great ILB?

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Barr isn’t better than Kwon and I’m going to guess he’ll want the same type of money. If that’s correct, then you keep Kwon around.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Anthony Barr dreams…..on a Kevin Minter budget………but the good news is he played for BA.

  17. COACH Says:

    He said I’m not rebuilding. I’m reloading, when I reload I use new ammo!

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Rod … Barr is a much different player than Kwon. Barr’s a lot bigger & definitely fits better in a 3-4 IMO.

    TBBF … Kevin Minter still intrigues me. Drafted by BA in 2013 (2nd rnd) out of LSU, but didn’t get much playing time until 2015 & 2016 when he started all 32 games. Then he booked to Cincy for ONE year, played relatively little, and came to us last year. Something doesn’t quite fit. Great size for a MLB (6′ & 246 lbs) but he wasn’t used much here either. Hopefully they re-sign him (he’s a FA) & Todd Bowles can work his magic on him. Given Beckwith’s unknown condition, would feel a LOT more comfortable if we had an experienced MLB calling the defense & adjustments this year.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    @bucsfaninchina … “All of these expensive players being trotted out…..and we have no money….. YET 🙂 Wait til the cuts and the trades start happening.” Good point, but then reality will set in shortly thereafter and we’ll have to REPLACE all those who we cut. Seems to me that most FAs are either looking to be paid big bucks (Bell) or other teams don’t want them (hello Swaggy Baker). There do seem to be a handful who are good players on the market because their prior team had to ‘slim down’ (like we’ll have to), but demand for guys like that can be high. in any event, it’ll be interesting to see how BA restructures this team given our salary CAP situation.

  20. Alstott up the gut Says:

    You know BA is going to make adjustments that will clear space. Kwon might have been the most disappointing for what I expected from a player this year. Can’t see how he demands high numbers. Home town deal only works for me.

  21. Oneilbucs Says:

    Bird I thought nothing else matters to but the quarterback. You said the quarterback is the one who win or lose the game. See you don’t even believe what you say .

  22. MikeFromND Says:

    Take it from someone that listens to Viking radio network and announcer radio show daily….Anthony Barr is a supremely talented guy, but he takes long stretches off. He is a “I play when I wanna play type of guy” ….remind you of anyone??! We’ve had far too many guys like that come thru Tampa and once they get paid they get lazy. Don’t let this be another guy to do that, Viking fans were screaming about him all year til he finally picked it up later in season. They openly mocked his “pro bowl” year because it was such a farce.

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    While it is true we can cut players to free-up space…..we do have to replace them and there are others unsigned to deal with.

    GMC $13
    Djax $10
    Curry $8
    Brate $7
    Gholston $3.75
    Allen $3.5
    Unrein $2.75
    Brian Anger $3
    Benenoch $2
    Ryan Smith $2
    Evan Smith $2

    That totals $57,000,000

    By listing these players, I’m certainly not suggesting we cut them all….I am simply laying out cap opportunities.

    So……if the right players are brought in the team can be improved.

  24. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    If kwon leaves I guarentee we will regret it

  25. westernbuc Says:

    Still don’t have the cap space…

  26. BucEmUp 7 Says:


  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I found $61,000,000 in potential cap space with the following players:

    GMC, Djax, Curry, Brate, Anger, Unrein, Allen, Benenoch, Ryan Smith, Gholston, Dotson, Evan Smith

    By listing them don’t jump on me for suggesting they be cut…..simply laying out the cap increase potential the Bucs have.

    So, we can improve the team substantially through FA……the only question is.

    How much will the new regime help the “failing” Jason Licht with the choices.

  28. ncbucsfan Says:

    Lavonte David is not an edge rusher!!!. Period! I would absolutely LOVE to see Barr on tbe edge of our defense and I feel he would be ideal for what Bowles wants to do! I say he should be our #1 Target, hands down, if he is able to get out of Minnesota. JPP will be an edge rusher to play opposite. Lavonte is a MLB if we go to a 3-4 base, which would only happen less than 30% of the time. Kwon or Beckwith would be the other MLB, depending on the formation.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    🙋‍♂️ I’m in. 💯

  30. JimmyJack Says:

    So many foolish fans thinking we have no CAP space.

    TampaBayBucFan gets it. Y’all need to read his post then keep rereading it til it sinks in. Also realize that every player he listed is not worth the money they make. I would have no problems cutting all of them. Plus a few more he didn’t mention.

  31. JimmyJack Says:


  32. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Noah spence is also a von Miller clone…..just saying

  33. Destinjohnny Says:

    When u can’t draft….

  34. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I provided that list because there was either no cap hit or very little cap hit for cutting them……there are some others that could be cut but we would not help our cap that much by cutting them.

    Note…..I didn’t put LVD on the list $9,750 or JPP $14,900,000 simply because IMO they are worth keeping…..but some would argue.

    The overriding point is that we can essentially make all the cap room we want if we choose to do that… least Licht structured contracts that didn’t guarantee salaries for extended periods……he has done a good job of that.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    @TBBF … “The overriding point is that we can essentially make all the cap room we want if we choose to do that… least Licht structured contracts that didn’t guarantee salaries for extended periods……he has done a good job of that.”

    Respecting disagree TBBF. Jason Licht did something worse: he guaranteed a goodly percentage of most contracts UPFRONT. If I were the Glazers I’d be madder than hell at this point. Cam Brate is a great example. Contract is 6 years, $40.8 mil with $18 mil guaranteed (almost half). Will Gholston is 5 years, $27.5 mil with $13.5 mil guaranteed (50%). Vinny Curry is 3 years, $23 mil with $11.5 mil guaranteed (50%). Beau Allen $3 years, $15 mil with $7.25 mil guaranteed (almost 50%). Could go on and on, but the result’s the same for almost every contract Licht writes.

    With so much guaranteed, YES there’s no dead money hit, BUT … realistically would you cut someone after a year who you’d already paid for 2 years work? Beyond that, I personally think that so much guaranteed money upfront can negatively impact a player’s incentive to excel year-to-year. That’s just not smart business IMO.

    And insofar as ‘making all the CAP room we want’ goes, that’s true, BUT … we still have to replace every player we cut. In a couple of instances we can draft rookies to replace veterans, but mostly we’d have to find other veterans to fill the holes that we create. And in many cases those new veterans may not be as expensive, but they also likely wouldn’t be as qualified either.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    I would like to have Barr at OLB and keep Kwon inside he is a beast

  37. Jonzey Says:

    I would love to sign Barr with Kwon inside and David on the other side

  38. Bucsalltheway Says:

    I with jonzey on that notion if we find a way to keep kwon and add Barr our lb group could be the fixture on defense.

  39. JimmyJack Says:

    Of that list I would only like to keep Ryan Smith as depth. I might keep Anger depending on what the options are(plus he has the coolest jersey).

    Brate would be the toughest decision and I would probably keep him if they can’t resign Hump. But my plan would be to move on from Brate and take advantage of a deep TE draft.

    So I got 60M. If I want I can Sign Mosley, Bell & Patrick Peterson. That will only be a out half of the 60M so we can still afford another stud or 2 in free agency if we wanted.

    The Bucs have no CAP issues whatsoever. We can do whatever .over we want

  40. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Perhaps but at least we don’t take the cap hits

  41. JimmyJack Says:

    Defense Rules …..Your worried about the wrong things. Worry about the player not the money.

    The only problem Jason Licht made was signing bad players. His contracts have not been bad man. That’s why we can cut them. Would you rather Light committed multi years to them guys? Who cares how much them bums made. It was last year it’s in the past. It’s not official yet but guys aren’t even Bucs no more. Your worked about the wrong stuff bro. Forget them bums

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    And yeah I’m sure Bruce had a look at our contract situation. I guarantee you if this team a tually had CAP issues and Bruce was stuck with a 5-11 roster he would of told the Glazers to kiss his ass.

    But he probably looked at the roster and saw that 65M he could reallocate. Sure he thought…..yeah I can work with this.

    Light did good math on them contracts. Just bad football.

  43. Ateonetree Says:

    za darius smith Outside linebacker from Baltimore. Guy had 8 sacks in a limited role last year. This dude can get after the qb and will be. Free agent.

  44. D1QB Says:

    Jimmy Jack,

    Of the 65m, how much is left if Brate, Hump, Kwon and Smith are signed?
    I’m guessing it’s closer to 20-23mil. If the team has to sign a LB and LT , assuming that the win now mentality precludes the idea of drafting a starter at both spots , any numbers on that path.

  45. BucHead5588 Says:

    Devin White at 5 LB LSU

  46. Kyle Says:

    So I’ve been watching the AAF this weekend. Wow, it’s a slap in the face…so many ex bucs starters playing…haha. We have had terrible drafts, no wonder we are the trash of the south

  47. Bill1949 Says:

    If we can get Anthony Barr for the contract were currently giving GMC (assuming the Bucs drop GMC) I say we do it. Imagine our front seven with Anthony Barr instead of GMC. I am a GMC hater. Barr can show Spense and the possibilities go way up with Beckwith’s return. Goodbye Kwon (like you, but not that much even if you were healthy). Too many holes to fill on this team. Make this move and grab a DT with #5 and were good with the front seven for years. Then sign Honey Badger and this defense is fixed. Oh, to dream.

  48. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Defense rules….id jason licht signed those same.contracts and the team were winning he would ve a genius..The general.manager cant coach the players…..thats why he is still her and licht and lovie are gone. This is the first real head coach bith Jason licht and Jameis Winston have ever had to work with as qb and gm

  49. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Since when is Kwon injury prone??

  50. Pickgrin Says:

    Defense Rules – You are completely wrong on all counts. Every single player you listed can be cut with no penalty whatsoever. Some would need to be cut before the start of the new league year in March before “guarantees” kick in – but the fact remains we can cut all without penalty. With no dead cap hit whatsoever. And none besides Gholston (who was not a free agent) got paid extra up front. Not Brate – Not Allen – not Curry… In fact Curry made less last year than he would this year – IF they were to keep him – which they won’t for $8M….

    Licht has left himself with quick outs – for almost every FA contract he has ever written. And he hasn’t been shy about cutting “mistakes” after 1 year either. DJax contract is the only one for a FA I can even think of where guaranteed $ spilled into the 2nd year….

    I know you love talking smack about the Bucs GM, DR – but you could at least TRY to get your facts straight when attempting to do so…..

  51. RustyRhinos Says:

    So here we have Mr. Barr who is a 6’5″ 255lb very good 4 time pro bowl middle linebacker in a 4-3 Defense. And one of the thoughts here is to bring him in to play in a 3-4 Defense. We do know he has made the “PRO BOWL” as a 4-3 middle linebacker. Why not stick with that? Why do we bring in players and change what made them valuable FA targets? Not saying he can’t play middle linebacker in a 3-4. This sure sounds like square peg, round hole situation to me. Is this how the “coaches can’t teach” references show up? Yes let’s bring him in and play him how the coaches see him best fit. A Multi Pro Bowl 4-3 middle linebacker to what as a 3-4 middle linebacker? Pro Bowl player again? Glad I do not have to be the one who is making that call.

    Go Bucs!

  52. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think I read on Spotrac that Spence is the only player with significant dead money hit if he’s cut…and significant for him is only 675,000 or so.

    I like Kwon a lot but I don’t understand how folks can be so high on him still without seeing him play on that rebuilt knee. If it was a straight up move Barr for Kwon in terms of cap it I gotta go with Barr.

    And again we all are out of date with all this 4-3 3-4 talk. Bowles himself and a growing majority around the league no longer look at it like that because they move their players around so much. So when an LB jumps up from a 3-4 and plays DE is that a 4-3?

    One of the mystery players I can’t wait to see Bowles work with is Spence. Like JW he has a lot of potential and like JW this is his make or break year. But he does have flexibility, haven’t seen him much in coverage but I’d like to see if Bowles can revive his career.

    Two players I’m really anxious to watch to see what happens…JW and Spence.

  53. Joe Says:

    I think I read on Spotrac that Spence is the only player with significant dead money hit if he’s cut…and significant for him is only 675,000 or so.

    It’s unlikely Spence is cut before the final cutdown in September but he is in a do-or-die pinch.

  54. Jonzey Says:

    Get Barr at MLB and Kwon move to OLB and David stay at WLB best in NFL

  55. Cobraboy Says:

    Why no mention of Beckwith?

  56. Joe Says:

    Why no mention of Beckwith?


  57. Jonzey Says:

    we don’t need him if we can get Barr have Beckwith come off the bench he is still on his rookie contract

  58. Cobraboy Says:

    @ Joe: Seriously.

    It’s a crapshoot to put any faith that a guy (Alexander) with a torn ACL will be anywhere near close to his former self…which IMO was not all that spectacular.

    Beckwith has an entire year to rehab. He may be in better shape to contribute in 2019, more so than Alexander. But even Beckwith is a question mark.

    Beckwith is on his rookie deal. Alexander is not. And as “Look At Me” Alexander is, I doubt he will accept a modest deal for ego reasons.

    I thought Alexander was miscast as a MLB in the first place. He had to play out of control to make up for his small frame, often out of position and over pursuing. And he’s not the most cerebral of football players, a necessity as the “QB” of a defense.

    But one way for the Bucs to maximize cap space is to sign Alexander for what he’s worth, then sell him to another team for what he *thinks* he’s worth. 😉

  59. Cobraboy Says:

    If Bucs go with some 3-4, they will keep Spence and groom him for a situational OLB slot.

  60. BringBucsBack Says:

    I can’t believe some of you are talking about N. Spence- at all!? Did you not see his completely invalid play the past two years? He can NOT rush the passer, as long as a human being is between them which, is what he was supposed to be good at. Now he is going to shape-shift into an upright LB who covers TE’s and RB’s out of the backfield? Talk about a stretch!

  61. Jonzey Says:


  62. Jonzey Says:

    Kwon put up Incredible numbers every year plus int. Kwon could be a top OLB if moved and have Barr inside
    You might want to look that up. Like Kwon, but he’s not incredible. He’s also missed the majority of games over the last two seasons–Joe

  63. Ed chase Says:

    As Long as we have our GM that can’t judge talent we will suck. Hopefully Arians does the picking.