March 13, 2019 05:11 PM
(Minnesota Vikings) - The Minnesota Vikings have officially re-signed defensive tackle Shamar Stephen and linebacker Anthony Barr, agreeing to contract extensions with both players.
Barr, who enters his sixth NFL season in 2019, has started all 71 games in which he has appeared for Minnesota since being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The first player drafted under head coach Mike Zimmer, Barr has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last four seasons. In five seasons (2014-18) since adding Barr to the defense, Minnesota has ranked first in the NFL in defensive third-down percentage (34.1%), third in opponent yards per game (317.9) and third in opponent points per game (19.3).
A team captain in 2018, Barr finished with 55 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks and one forced fumble in 13 games played. Barr, who played the fourth-most defensive snaps (808) among all Vikings in 2018, helped the Vikings defense rank fourth in yards per game (309.7) and fourth in total offensive points allowed (298) last season.
The San Pedro, California, native has been entrenched in the Twin Cities community since joining the Vikings, particularly through his Raise the Barr Foundation, which provides support to single mothers through childcare assistance and scholarship funding.
Stephen, who enters his sixth NFL season in 2019, rejoins the Vikings after spending the 2018 season with the Seattle Seahawks. Stephen played in 15 regular season games for the Seahawks, starting 14, and finished with 25 total tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hits. The former UConn Huskie also recorded two solo tackles while starting in Wild Card Round against the Dallas Cowboys (1/5/2019).
Originally selected by Minnesota in the seventh round (220th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Brookville, New York native has played in 67 career regular season games, with 34 starts and two postseason appearances. In his most recent season with Minnesota in 2017, Stephen helped the Vikings defense lead the NFL in opponent third down percentage (25.1%), yards per game (275.9) and points per game (15.9).
(Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)
Created: March 13, 2019 05:11 PM
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