Skip to main content

Vikings release veteran LB Eric Kendricks

The salary-cap-strapped Vikings have begun the process of moving on from productive veterans.

Minnesota is releasing linebacker Eric Kendricks, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Monday, per sources informed of the situation.

The team later confirmed the news.

"As a Pro Bowler and team captain, a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and a leader of the Vikings social justice efforts, Eric leaves a powerful, permanent legacy within our organization and the Minnesota community," Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in a statement. "While he is best known as a playmaker and respected linebacker across the league, Eric's contributions to the Vikings extend far beyond the field because of his selfless and unwavering commitment to improving societal issues. I have the utmost respect for Eric and wish him and Ally, along with their growing family, continued success in their next chapter."

Kendricks was entering the final year of his contract with no guaranteed money left. Releasing the 31-year-old saves the Vikes $9.5 million on the salary cap.

Sitting at $24.424 million above the cap threshold before the Kendricks move, per Over The Cap, Minnesota must shed salaries before the start of the new league year on March 15.

Cutting Kendricks is a painful pill for Vikings fans to swallow. A sideline-to-sideline maven, Kendricks has started 113 games over eight seasons since being selected in the second round. At his peak, Kendricks was one of the most disruptive off-ball linebackers in the NFL, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2019. While he fell off in coverage a bit in 2022, the linebacker still snagged 137 tackles, and six passes defensed in 17 games.

Parting with a productive player like Kendricks might not be the only big-name move the Vikings make in the next week.

Kendricks will get a head start on free agency, which opens next week. He should be an option for defenses looking to plug the middle of the field with a heady, sure-tacking veteran. The main hindrance to the 31-year-old cashing in could be that off-ball backer might be the most well-stocked position hitting the market this season, with several younger options available starting next week.

Related Content