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Vikings part with linebacker Eric Kendricks, save $9.5M in cap space

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) and linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) and linebacker Jordan Hicks (58) react after New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios (10) drops a touchdown pass late during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was informed of his imminent release on Monday, a move that saves the team $9.5 million in cap space.

Kendricks had one year remaining on his contract. The six-time Pro Bowl selection struggled in pass coverage for the second consecutive season but led the team in tackles in 2021 and 2022.

“It is extremely difficult to start more than 100 games in this league, but Eric has been a staple in the locker room since he entered the NFL,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said in a statement. “During my first year as head coach, Eric played a critical role as a captain and a member of the leadership council in helping establish the culture we want in Minnesota. He was a consistent mentor to his younger teammates, and his tireless work ethic set a standard for others to emulate.”

The Vikings entered the week more than $20 million over the salary cap for 2023. NFL teams must be in compliance with the cap limit before the start of the new league year on March 15.

Reports from NFL Network and ESPN suggest Minnesota has discussed restructured contracts with several other players.

Kendricks was the 45th pick in the 2015 draft.

He turned 31 in February, and has played in 117 games (113 starts) in eight seasons, all with the Vikings. Kendricks has 919 career tackles, 15 sacks, nine interceptions and four forced fumbles. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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