Chargers To Sign LB Eric Kendricks

Eric Kendricks is heading to the west coast. The long-time Vikings linebacker is signing with the Chargers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

Kendricks agreed to a two-year deal worth $13.25MM, Rapoport adds (on Twitter). The UCLA alum will receive $6.75MM guaranteed, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. The Chargers will have a decision to make ahead of this contract’s second year, with Wilson adding Kendricks is due a $1.5MM roster bonus on Day 3 of the 2024 league year.

The Vikings cut the veteran linebacker last week, providing the team with $9.5MM in cap relief. The move ended Kendricks’ eight-year stint in Minnesota that saw him collect at least 90 tackles each season. He earned a first-time All-Pro nod and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2019, and he’ll end his Vikings tenure with the third-most total tackles (919) and top-10 marks in tackles for loss (54) and passes defended (51).

Kendricks was set to enter the final year of a $50MM contract he inked with the organization in 2018. Thanks to a subsequent restructure, he was set to earn more than $11MM in 2023. The team decided to take the savings and move on from Kendricks as they look to revamp that side of the ball.

The Chargers will still be getting a highly productive linebacker. The 31-year-old finished the 2022 season with 137 tackles and eight tackles for loss, although Pro Football Focus only ranked him 50th among 81 qualifying linebackers.

Drue Tranquill was the Chargers’ most productive linebacker last season but is currently an unrestricted free agent. Kendricks could easily fill Tranquill’s role, but considering the team’s lack of depth at the position, it’s within the realm of possibility that the Chargers still retain their free agent.

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