If the Pittsburgh Steelers want to land free agent linebacker Anthony Barr to help their depleted inside linebacker group, they’re going to have some competition.
Barr had a free agent visit with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, according to a report by Mike Garafalo of NFL Network.
It’s not clear if the Steelers are interested in Barr, but there are only so many options available in the free-agent market, and with the NFL trade deadline passed, that’s the only way for the team to add to their current group. The Steelers will be without Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander for the rest of the 2023 season after consecutive injuries over the last two weeks.
Barr is an experienced player who played the traditional Sam linebacker role in a 4-3 defense, but with the Steelers could work as a hybrid.
A 31-year-old, Barr spent eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before playing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2022. He has played 112 career games and made 108 starts, with 553 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks and 48 quarterback hits. He also has five career interceptions, eight forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries.
But Barr has not been on an NFL roster since the 2022 season, so it’s not clear what kind of football shape he is in. He also missed time in 2022 with a hamstring injury.
The Steelers don’t necessarily have the luxury of time to get a player up to speed, as Elandon Roberts and Mark Robinson will start this Sunday as the only two healthy inside linebackers currently on the active roster.
Mykal Wilson and Tariq Carpenter can be elevated from the practice squad, and it’s possible the Steelers may look to add one more player to that mix via free agency.
The Steelers made roster space on Monday, waiving nose tackle Breiden Fehoko.