Minnesota Vikings Release Star Linebacker

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Monday that they have released linebacker Eric Kendricks, who was in the final season of a five-year extension.

Despite being a productive veteran and a pillar of the team's defense since being selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Vikings have opted to move on from the 31-year-old linebacker.

Kendricks has been a reliable and durable player for the Vikings, having not missed a regular-season game since 2017. He also boasts seven consecutive seasons with over 100 tackles and played a career-high 1,051 defensive snaps last year.

However, his performance in 2022 ranked 89th among linebackers in Pro Football Focus' grades, leading the Vikings to view him as expendable.

Despite this, Kendricks is expected to attract interest from multiple teams in free agency. While he may not be viewed as a difference-maker, he could still serve as a valuable role player for a team in need of linebacker depth.

For his eight-year career, the thirty-one-year-old has recorded 919 total tackles, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, nine interceptions and 51 passes defended.  Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports