Longtime Vikings LB Joins the NFC Champs

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For eight seasons, Eric Kendricks was a strong starting linebacker in the Minnesota Vikings defense.

However, Kendricks’ tenure with the Vikings came to an end following the 2022 season, and he headed to the Los Angeles Chargers for 2023. The longtime Vikings LB is on the move again in 2024, signing with the San Francisco 49ers.

Longtime Vikings LB Joins the NFC Champs

Longtime Vikings LB
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The signing was reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who tweeted, “49ers are signing former Chargers LB Eric Kendricks to a one-year deal, per source. Kendricks was a Chargers captain last season, when he started 14 games and finished second on the team with 117 tackles.”

The Vikings selected Kendricks in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and almost immediately, he became a crucial part of their defensive scheme. Over his eight seasons in Minnesota, Kendricks started 113 games for the Vikings, recording 919 tackles, 54 TFLs, 15 sacks, 51 PDs, 9 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and 6 fumble recoveries.

For his efforts in 2019, Kendricks was named a first-team All-Pro as he helped the Vikings to a 10-6 record as they allowed the fifth fewest points in the league.

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Kendricks remained a solid starter for the remainder of his tenure in Minnesota, but especially in 2022, it became clear that the veteran was becoming a step slower. As a result, the Vikings released him last March, a move that saved them $9.5 million in salary cap space.

Kendricks then headed to Los Angeles, but it was a lost season for the Chargers after QB Justin Herbert suffered a season-ending finger injury. In the end, LA finished 5-12 while Kendricks recorded 117 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, six passes defended, and a forced fumble.

However, Los Angeles opted to release the veteran just days ago, allowing Kendricks to hop on with the 49ers.

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Now, the veteran linebacker will get a chance to take on a new role with the San Francisco 49ers defense, who qualified for the Super Bowl last season. Dre Greenlaw tore his Achilles during that Super Bowl, which means San Francisco has a need at the linebacker spot next to Fred Warner.

Kendricks turned 32 years old on February 29th.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.