Ex-Vikings Defender Joins Chargers

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Free-agent comings and goings are hot and heavy around the NFL this week as teams begin training camps and general managers iron out their 90-man rosters.

The Minnesota Vikings added TE Colin Thompson, OG Jack Snyder, and OT Bobby Evans.

Ex-Vikings Defender Joins Chargers

And in the AFC West, the Los Angeles Chargers added a former Vikings linebacker — Blake Lynch.

Joins Chargers
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The Chargers also added ex-Vikings defender Eric Kendricks in March, so they evidently have a thing for former Vikings linebackers. Los Angeles’ season was depressingly ended in 2022 by a playoff collapse to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where it squandered a 27-0 lead in the Wildcard round.

The Chargers Wire’s Alex Insdorf confirmed Thursday, “Chargers sign LB Blake Lynch, formerly of the Vikings and Cardinals. Of note: Lynch played special teams on Ryan Ficken’s 2021 Vikings unit.”

A Big Game for Bubble Players in Denver
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Lynch, 26, joins his third team in four seasons, last on the Cardinals roster from October 2022 to May of this year. Arizona released Lynch two months ago, and he’ll now try on the Chargers for size, hoping to make the 53-man roster at the end of August.

The Vikings found Lynch as an undrafted free agent before the pandemic season in 2020, and he stayed on the roster for a smidgen over two seasons (if one counts the 2022 preseason).

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

In total, Lynch played 20 games for the Vikings while starting seven. He’s notched 47 total tackles, three passes defended, two sacks, a tackle for loss, and a QB hit during his two-year career. The Baylor alumnus was on the Vikings roster bubble this summer but fell short to rookie Brian Asamoah and veteran Troy Dye, who live on the Vikings active roster. Lynch could’ve joined Minnesota’s practice squad, in theory, but the Vikings chose rookie linebacker William Kwenkeu instead.

Lynch did not play in any regular season games last year.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

Lynch recorded a 64.6 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021 and a 34.1 as a rookie in 2020. He was a mainstay of the Vikings special teams unit in 2021, playing 342 snaps with that group. Perhaps special teams will eventually become his assignment with the Chargers.

These are the Chargers linebackers with the preseason two weeks away:

  • Eric Kendricks
  • Kenneth Murray Jr.
  • Daiyan Henley
  • Nick Niemann
  • Amen Ogbongbemiga
  • Tyreek Maddox-Williams
  • Nathan East
  • Mikel Jones
  • Blake Lynch

Los Angeles’ defense ranked 19th in the NFL last per EPA/Play.

The Vikings host the Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 24th — or 58 days from now.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.