Ex-Vikings Defender Lands with Saints

Ex-Vikings Defender Lands with Saints
Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

In the same swoop that the New Orleans Saints acquired Jarvis Landry on Monday, general manager Mickey Loomis almost signed former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson.

Wilson played for the Vikings from 2017 to 2020.

In fact, Wilson was the only Vikings player in those four total seasons to play in every game (64 of them). Harrison Smith, who is still on the team, played in 63 games.

Eric Wilson
Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

During his one-season life-after-Vikings experience, Wilson has played for Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans. Wilson lasted seven games in Philadelphia before a midseason release, ending up with the 4-13 Texans. He played seven games down in Texas.

Now, Wilson broadens the post-Vikings era with a trip to New Orleans, linking with Dennis Allen, the new head coach, Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, Cameron Jordan, Michael Thomas, and others.

With the Vikings, Wilson notched 234 combined tackles, 19 quarterback hits, 18 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and four interceptions. He was most involved in Minnesota’s offense inside the 2020 season when veteran Anthony Barr missed 14 games with a torn pectoral muscle.

A playmaking and opportunistic defender who struggles against the run, Wilson brings a splotchy Pro Football Resume to the Saints. Here are the grades since 2017:

  • 2017 = Only Played Special Teams
  • 2018 = 62.7
  • 2019 = 67.6
  • 2020 = 53.5
  • 2021 = 39.6
Eric Wilson
Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

So, 2021 seems like a true-blue down year for Wilson, in retrospect, which isn’t uncommon among athletes. As an off-ball linebacker, Wilson is slated to back up Demario Davis and Pete Werner with the Saints.

If Wilson makes the 53-man roster, he’ll take on his former Vikings teammates in London during a Week 4 showdown.

Wilson is 27. New Orleans currently has 10 linebackers on its roster.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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