Former Viking Joins Aaron Rodgers’ Team

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Jets
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Jets added some roster oomph on Friday night after the franchise kicked off training camp this week.

And he’s a former Minnesota Vikings defensive end — Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Former Viking Joins Aaron Rodgers’ Team

The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov tweeted, “The Jets have signed veteran pass-rusher Ife Odenigbo, who recorded 3.5 sacks last year and has a total of 14 sacks in his career.”

Joins Aaron
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Odenigbo last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts in 2022 and will now become coworkers with the Vikings former foremost rival, quarterback Aaron Rogers, who joined New York via trade in April.

A journeyman now, here’s Odenigbo’s resume to date:

  • Minnesota Vikings (2017)
  • Cleveland Browns (2018)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2018)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2018–2020)
  • New York Giants (2021)
  • Cleveland Browns (2021)
  • Indianapolis Colts (2022)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022)
  • New York Jets (2023)
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Odenigbo made headlines last December when the Colts somewhat shockingly released the man. The weirdest part about the transaction involved Odenigbo’s performance against the Vikings. Pitted against his old teammates, Odenigbo notched 2 total tackles, a blocked punt, and a sack — often called a Pro Bowl-like day in some circles. The production was Odenigbo’s best of the season, though, as the Northwestern alumnus has a Pro Football Focus grade of 49.9 in 2022, which is more in line with that of a player who’d be on the chopping block. Still, the timing was strange.

Odenigbo’s career in Minnesota concluded after the 2020 season, as the Vikings utilized D.J. Wonnum for their ‘Ifeadi role’ in 2021. That season, Odenigbo signed with the aforementioned Browns, probably a nod to his ties with Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski, who ran the Vikings offense in 2019 before taking the big job in Ohio.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Odenigbo, 29, made a splash for the Vikings in the 2019 season, posting 7 sacks in an unsung manner. He played all 16 games for the 2019 Vikings — the last purple and gold team to post a winning record before 2022 — while starting none of the games. Most notably, Odenigbo scored a defensive touchdown in a rout of the Los Angeles Chargers down the stretch of the 2019 season.

Because Odenigbo performed well in 2019, he got the gig as a starting EDGE rusher for the 2020 Vikings after Minnesota lost Danielle Hunter, the starter, to a neck injury. In 15 starts that season, Odenigbo tallied only 3.5 sacks, a meager figure for a starting EDGE rusher who played almost 70% of defensive snaps.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports.

All told, Odenigbo has registered 90 total tackles, 37 QB hits, 14 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and of course, the blocked punt against the Vikings last year — in 55 career games.

The Jets also employ Vikings players Tyler Conklin (TE), Craig James (CB), and Chazz Surratt (LB).

The financial terms of Odenigbo’s new deal were not immediately available.


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.

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