Vikings' Anthony Barr blames OTA absence on insurance delay

EAGAN, Minn. - Pro Bowl linebacker Anthony Barr says his absence during the Minnesota Vikings' first week of organized team activities was due to finalizing an insurance policy that took longer than expected.

The Minnesota linebacker, who is scheduled to play the 2018 season on his fifth-year option, was hoping to ink a contract extension with the Vikings ahead of OTAs. When a deal didn't get worked out, Barr opted to skip last week's session and said it was in his best interest to take precautionary measures.

"I had to protect myself and get an injury insurance policy," Barr said. "It took like a week to get situated, so I got that, and now I'm good to go."

Coach Mike Zimmer said last week that Barr told him on May 22 that he wouldn't be in attendance during the first week of OTAs, but he did not comment on whether the issue was related to Barr's contract.

The three-time Pro Bowler returned to practice Tuesday and was a full participant during Wednesday's session.

Right now, Barr is set to earn $12.3 million this season. The linebacker didn't divulge specifics, but said his representation is in talks with the Vikings.

"My agent's doing a great job," Barr said. "They're having conversations. I don't know too many details on that. My focus is here with the team and getting ready."

Minnesota doled out a contract extension earlier this offseason to linebacker Eric Kendricks, who signed a five-year deal worth $50 million. Barr is one of three remaining players with contracts coming due in the near future. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs and defensive end Danielle Hunter are set to become free agents after the 2018 season.

The Vikings currently have $17.6 million in available cap space.