Vikings Bolster Linebacker Room with Latest Signing

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The first big move of the Vikings’ offseason was when the team released longtime starting linebacker, Eric Kendricks. He was part of the organization for eight seasons and left a huge void.

Fellow linebacker Jordan Hicks was also projected as a potential cut but he stayed after taking a pay cut. In addition to Hicks, the Vikings have promising 2022 rookie Brian Asamoah on the roster. He is expected to take a bigger role in the upcoming season.

Vikings Bolster Linebacker Room with Latest Signing

More depth and quality were much needed in the linebacker group of defensive coordinator Brian Flores and he finally got a new player at the position.

Vikings Bolster Linebacker Room with Latest Signing
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Ari Meirov tweeted on Wednesday afternoon: “The Vikings have signed former Rams and Chargers LB Troy Reeder.”

Reeder, a 28-year-old linebacker, came into the league in 2019 as an undrafted rookie after playing five years in college for Penn State and Delaware. Sean McVay’s Rams signed the UDFA and he immediately made the team as a special teamer but contributed on defense as well. The undrafted rookie entered the starting lineup in Week 5 for the injured defender, Bryce Hager.

Reeder ended up starting eight games in his first professional season and he played in all 16. Throughout the year, Reeder recorded 58 combined tackles and forced a couple of fumbles on roughly 600 snaps on defense and special teams.

In his second season, he was once again a backup linebacker but ended up starting seven games, recording three sacks, 81 tackles, and 5 tackles for loss. Reeder had a bigger role on defense in his second campaign.

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In the 2021 campaign, the linebacker reverted back to his backup role but was named a starter in 10 regular season games and three in the postseason. The Rams ended up winning the Super Bowl and Reeder played 45 snaps in that game against the Bengals. Reeder played almost 700 snaps on defense for the Rams in 2021.

Interestingly, Reeder is the second player from that Super Bowl-winning team that was signed today by the purple team after already adding receiver and return specialist, Brandon Powell.

Following his three-year stint with the Rams, he stayed in Los Angeles but signed with the Chargers where his role on defense declined. He was primarily a special teams player for the Chargers and rarely saw the field on defense.

It’s quite possible that he has the same role in Minnesota if Asamoah is ready to start. Reeder’s body is closer to Asamoah’s than Hicks’, as he is 6’1″, 235 pounds. Modern-day linebackers are almost built like safeties and he fits that mold. He will slide in as a top special teams guy and backup linebacker but should see snaps as a rotational player.

Assessing the Vikings LB Situation
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DC Flores is a longtime linebackers coach and if he approves of a player, Vikings fans should give him the benefit of the doubt.

The linebacker room is currently filled with Hicks, Asamoah, and Reeder as the top guys. Other depth players under contract are Troy Dye and William Kwenkeu, a couple of more additions in the draft or in free agency should follow soon.

Reeder’s Dad, Dan, was a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons. He recorded 28 rushing yards in his career. Maybe the son can beat those numbers with a return after an interception or a fumble recovery.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt