Former Vikings All-Pro LB Cut Loose After One Season with New Team - footballivenews
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Former Vikings All-Pro LB Cut Loose After One Season with New Team



The Chargers parted ways with former Vikings All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks on Tuesday, terminating his contract after just one season with the team. Kendricks had signed a two-year deal with Los Angeles last offseason, but his release now frees up $6.5 million in cap space for the Chargers. Despite playing only one season, Kendricks made a significant impact, starting 14 games and putting up impressive statistics: 117 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 6 passes defended, and one forced fumble. Additionally, he earned his highest Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade (72.3) since the 2020 season. However, his departure from the Chargers was not unexpected, given the financial considerations for the team and the arrival of a new coaching staff.
Jim Harbaugh, the former Michigan head coach, is now at the helm of the Chargers, and he has brought Jesse Minter from Michigan to serve as the defensive coordinator. Kendricks, originally drafted in the second round from UCLA in 2015, spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Vikings. He achieved first-team All-Pro status in 2019 and consistently performed well from 2016 to 2020, despite only making one Pro Bowl appearance. After a slight decline in performance in 2021 and 2022, the Vikings released Kendricks last spring, a move that ultimately proved beneficial as Jordan Hicks and rookie Ivan Pace Jr. excelled at inside linebacker last season.
Although Hicks is now a free agent, along with Troy Dye, Anthony Barr, and Nick Vigil, a reunion between Kendricks and the Vikings seems unlikely. If the Vikings opt to sign a veteran linebacker, they may prefer bringing back Hicks for another season or two to pair with Pace. Furthermore, Brian Asamoah II could also emerge as a significant contributor in his third season if he continues to progress. Despite being 32 years old, Kendricks is expected to draw interest from teams looking to fill starting linebacker positions.

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