Former Vikings Starter Joins Tom Brady in Tampa Bay

Former Vikings Starter Heads to Tampa Bay
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Ifeadi Odenigbo has officially joined his fifth NFL team in as many seasons after suddenly, and perhaps inexplicably, cut from the Indianapolis Colts this past week. On Tuesday afternoon, the former Vikings starter signed onto the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad, joining Tom Brady in an attempt at making the playoffs.

Just over a week ago, Odenigbo made his most recent NFL appearance in a revenge game against his former team in Minnesota, and what a revenge game it was for the rotational defensive lineman.

Overall, Odenigbo played 20 snaps on the defensive side, and he recorded two tackles. Perhaps that wouldn’t be a huge impact, until you consider the fact that one of these tackles was a sack and the other was a tackle for loss. He also played a single special teams snap on the day. On that snap, he just happened to block a Ryan Wright punt that was returned for a touchdown.

If You Think the Colts Are a Terrible Football Team, You Are Wrong.
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Apparently, that revenge game simply wasn’t enough for the Colts because after the game, they waived the defensive end. In 13 games for the Colts, Odenigbo recorded 12 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 3 TFLs. He was one of six players for Indy to record at least 3.5 sacks this season.

Odenigbo was selected in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he was waived by Minnesota prior to the season’s start. He didn’t make an appearance on an NFL roster during that 2017 season, but he was picked up by the Cardinals in 2018 and played a single game for them. He recorded one tackle in that game.

Towards the end of the season, Arizona waived him, and Odenigbo found his way back to Minnesota with the team that initially drafted him. 2019 was a breakout season for the pass rusher, and he appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Vikings and both playoff games. In the end, he recorded 23 tackles, 7 TFLs, 7.0 sacks, and a pair of fumble recoveries. One of these fumbles he returned all the way back for a touchdown.

Ifeadi Odenigbo Finds New NFL Home
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During the 2020 season, he finally became a starter for the Vikings, and he started all 15 games that he played. However, the production was a significant drop from 2019, and he put together 35 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 3.5 sacks. That being said, he recorded a career-high 15 QB hits.

Due to the lack of production in a non-playoff year for the Vikes, Minnesota let him walk in free agency during the 2021 offseason. Initially, the Giants signed him, but they cut Odenigbo prior to the season’s start, and he landed in Cleveland with the Browns.

Odenigbo played nine games for the Browns and recorded 13 tackles as well as his third career fumble recovery. After that season, Cleveland let him go, and that’s how he landed in Indianapolis with the Colts. Overall, Odenigbo has now played 54 NFL regular season games and has recorded 84 tackles, 13 TFLs, 14.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and three fumble recoveries.

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The release from the Colts was surprising because he was a very reliable rotational player for them throughout the season. Because of his production, there was some thought that perhaps Odenigbo could make his way back to Minnesota for a reunion with his former team.

Now, though, it is apparent that this will not be the case. Perhaps Odenigbo can provide that production for the Buccaneers (7-8) as they hope to make one final push for the playoffs. A win over the Carolina Panthers (6-9) this weekend is necessary for that to happen.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.