Eric Kendricks

Latest On Vikings’ Cap Situation

The Vikings are looking to reset their cap, and their quarterback could end up being a casualty. According to Jason La Canfora (via Twitter), the Vikings are “eager to move big contracts,” and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they end up moving on from Kirk Cousins.

With the Vikings changing regimes, the status of their four-year starting quarterback has understandably come up. Cousins carries the NFL’s third-highest 2022 cap hit at $45MM, and he’s going into a contract year. If the organization is truly looking to reset their books, it’d make sense to move on from the veteran QB. It would help the Vikings a bit if Cousins agreed to another extension, which would allow the team to reduce his 2022 cap hit. However, Cousins’ camp hasn’t been receptive to that idea.

La Canfora also mentions wideout Adam Thielen, linebacker Eric Kendricks, defensive tackle Michael Pierce, and even running back Dalvin Cook as sizable cap hits that the organization could look to move on from. These four players and Cousins represent five of the team’s seven highest cap hits, joining defensive end Danielle Hunter and safety Harrison Smith.

The Vikings entered the offseason with one of the worst cap situations in the NFL, so it’s not surprising that the team is looking to move around some money. Per, the Vikings are currently $15MM over the cap, so moves are certainly coming.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/3/22

Here are Monday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OT Mike Remmers (remains on IR)

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Raymond Calais (remains on IR)

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Vikings, Eric Kendricks Agree To Reworked Deal

The Vikings just agreed to a five-year extension for running back Dalvin Cook, and in order to create sufficient cap room for that deal, the club restructured the contract of LB Eric Kendricks. Per Adam Schefter of, Minnesota converted $6MM of Kendricks’ base salary into a signing bonus to spread out his cap charge (Twitter link).

This is the second year in a row that the Vikings and Kendricks have come together on a reworked deal. Last May, the club and Kendricks agreed to a similar restructure that may have allowed TE Kyle Rudolph to remain in Minnesota.

Of course, these types of kicking-the-can-down-the-road maneuvers always carry some risks, especially considering that the 2021 cap is expected to decrease. But Kendricks, who signed a five-year extension in 2018 that runs through the 2023 campaign, continues to play at a high level. As of right now, it looks like he will see the end of his contract — or sign another extension before then — so the dead cap charges that increase in a restructure like this one may never come into play.

Kendricks, 28, posted his fourth consecutive 100+ tackle campaign in 2019. He tallied 110 tackles in 15 games (all starts), and he graded out as the second-best LB in the league per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. That effort led to a Pro Bowl nod and First Team All-Pro selection in 2019, the first such honors of his career.

Vikings Restructure Eric Kendricks’ Deal

Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks agreed to restructure his contract in order to keep the team under the cap, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Vikings entered Tuesday with less than $700K in cap room, which did not leave them enough room to ink first-round pick Garrett Bradbury. With Kendricks’ cooperation, they were able to get the deal done

The revised deal will convert $2.15MM of Kendricks’ $4.15MM salary for 2019 into a salary bonus, which created about $1.72MM in space for the Vikes. That extra bit of breathing room may also bode well for the future of Kyle Rudolph, who is set to carry a $7.625MM cap hit this year. The Vikings have tried – and failed – to ink the tight end to a cap smoothing extension, but Kendricks’ gesture could go a long way towards keeping the veteran in Minnesota.

The Vikings inked Kendricks to a five-year, $50MM extension last year with $25MM guaranteed. And, in 2018, he kept up the good work. Kendricks finished out with 108 stops, one sack, and two interceptions in 14 regular season games.

Extra Points: Kendricks, Eagles, McCain, Seahawks

Mychal Kendricks visited with the Vikings earlier today. While the free agent left without an offer, it sounds like he’d certainly welcome playing in Minnesota. After all, it’d provide the linebacker with an opportunity to play with his brother, Eric Kendricks.

“Oh, man, it’d be a dream come true. I’d be awesome. That’s my best friend,” the former Eagles defender told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). “To strive for a championship (with Eric) would be awesome…Playing with my bro would be cool, and it’s a rare opportunity.’’

Predictably, Kendricks indicated that his brother is putting on the full-court press when it comes to recruiting.

“He’s doing all that he can,” Kendricks said (Twitter link). “He’s let me know what the team’s all about…But he knows in the end I’m going to make my decision based off the things that are presented to me.’’

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the league…

  • Kendricks, who was released by the Eagles last week, said he wasn’t surprised by the transaction. “I didn’t ask to be released but I asked for a trade a year prior to this,” he told Tomasson (via Twitter). “[S]o, yeah, I’m trying to be in a situation where I can play big role and really contribute.’’
  • Dolphins‘ cornerback Bobby McCain had a breakout campaign in 2017, rating out as one of Pro Football Focus’ top players at the position. The former fifth-rounder finished the campaign having compiled 48 tackles, one sack, seven passes defended, and two interceptions. After such a productive season, reporters naturally asked the 24-year-old if he’s been approached about an extension. “I mean, I um, I mean I…” McCain stammered (via Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald). “No, I’m just going out and trying to play my best ball.” The defensive back is an impending free agent, but the Dolphins currently have little money to work with… until this weekend, when the team will free up $17MM in cap space due to the Ndamukong Suh move.
  • For what it’s worth, it sounds like McCain is more focused on helping his team succeed. “It’s a contract year,” McCain said. “There’s no secret at the end of the day, but me personally, I think just go out and play. If you go out and play ball, it will end up well for you at the end of the day. You win ballgames, everybody gets paid. Period. That’s just how it is. You go out, take a team to the playoffs, go deep in the playoffs, go to the Super Bowl, everybody gets paid.”
  • Players are starting to get used to Seahawks new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer. It’s the first time for many of these players (including Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin) playing under a new coordinator, but the offensive standouts are excited for the opportunity. “It has been a change, obviously,” Baldwin told John Boyle of “We’re excited about it though. There’s two ways you can go with the unknown: you can be fearful of it or you can be excited about it. With a lot of new faces, the young guys, a new system, a new, different energy, we’re excited about it. We’ve got an opportunity to put something special together again—I don’t want to say starting over—but kind of reloading if you will. It’s an exciting time for us.”

Vikings Sign Eric Kendricks To Extension

The Vikings have signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a contract extension, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). It’s a five-year, $50MM deal with $25MM guaranteed. 

Kendricks, a product of the 2015 draft, was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. Because he was a second round pick, the Vikings did not have the option of extending him via the fifth-year option.

The linebacker earned his big money deal after leading the Vikings in tackles in each of his first three seasons. In total, he has racked up 314 regular season tackles, plus 24 in the postseason. Last year, he set a new career high with 113 tackles and played on 1,099 snaps which was good for seventh amongst all linebackers in the NFL.

Kendricks’ work against the pass has helped the Vikings bottle up opposing tight ends as well as pass-catching running backs. Last year, the Vikings D allowed the fewest passing yards to opposing tailbacks in the league. Meanwhile, Football Outsiders had them ranked as the top overall defense in the NFL.

The Vikings have several defensive stars locked up with cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Harrison Smith, defensive end Everson Griffen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph, and Kendricks under contract for multiple seasons. There’s still some work to be done, however, with linebacker Anthony Barr and edge rusher Danielle Hunter on the agenda.

Vikings, Xavier Rhodes Close On Extension

The Vikings are close to finalizing an extension with cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

A source informed Tomasson the deal is expected to be in the five-year, $70MM vicinity. That would tie Rhodes to the Vikings through the 2022 season. The cornerback is set to make just more than $8MM on a fifth-year option this season.

We heard earlier this week the Vikings made a “nice offer” to the 27-year-old cornerback, who is entering his contract year. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported the team is willing to make him one of the league’s highest-paid corners.

An assistant coach at Florida State during Rhodes’ time there and a former NFL corner, Terrell Buckley serves as a mentor to Rhodes. He told Tomasson there was a “high probability” Rhodes will sign an extension by the end of the week but is attempting to get a couple of things “squared away” with this Vikes proposal. Buckley added Rhodes “loves” playing for Mike Zimmer and secondary coach Jerry Gray, further pointing to a long Rhodes stay in Minneapolis.

At $14MM annually, that would match Rhodes with Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson as the third-highest-paid corner. Only Josh Norman makes more than that annually, although Trumaine Johnson‘s franchise tag ($16.742MM) has him as the league’s highest-paid corner for 2017.

In addition to Rhodes, the Vikings want to lock down key members of their defense, Tomasson reports. They are internally discussing extensions for Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Linval Joseph, per Tomasson. The team just signed Everson Griffen to a $57.9MM extension.

The Vikings rode their defense to a dominant start in 2016, jumping out to a 5-0 mark. Minnesota finished third defensively last season. Barr became extension-eligible after last season, but Kendricks — as a 2015 second-round pick — isn’t yet allowed to sign one until after this season. Joseph has delivered dominant football to the Vikings after they signed him as a UFA from the Giants. He has two years remaining on the five-year, $31.25MM deal he signed in 2014. Joseph is set to make $6.85MM in each of the next two seasons.

North Notes: Vikings, Pettigrew, Browns

The Vikings intend to begin the Sam Bradford era on Sunday night, with the team set to displace Shaun Hill in the starting lineup and plug in the trade acquisition against the Packers, Ben Goessling of reports. A league source informed Goessling Bradford took each of the first-team snaps in practice this week.

Minnesota traded next year’s first-round pick and another selection that could rise to future second-rounder for the former No. 1 overall pick. The 28-year-old Bradford completed a career-best 65% of his passes for the Eagles in 2015, but when separated from Chip Kelly‘s offense, the ex-Heisman Trophy winner has never exceeded the 61% mark.

Hill guided the Vikings to a victory against the Titans but did not produce an offensive touchdown in Minnesota’s 25-16 road win. Bradford’s potential inability to make pre-snap adjustments after such a short time with the team played into Hill receiving the Week 1 nod, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes.

Here’s more from the NFC North as Week 2 Sunday nears.

  • Former Vikings scouting director Scott Studwell, who remains with the team in a different capacity after stepping down from that role two years ago, said the team was able to acquire middle linebacker Eric Kendricks in the second round last year due to the second-year player’s smaller stature. “Kendricks went in the second round because he’s 6-foot,” Studwell said, via Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “In a perfect world, you might want a ‘Mike’ a bit bigger with Eric, but with his instincts for the ball, we’re not complaining. He’s a playmaker.” 
  • The Lions currently have Brandon Pettigrew on their PUP list but could opt to move on from the veteran tight end if they like what they see from current backup Cole Wick, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes. Pettigrew tore his left ACL last December and reworked his contract due to his PUP standing earlier this month. He’s under contract through 2017 thanks to the four-year, $16MM deal he signed in 2014.
  • A potential BrownsJimmy Garoppolo union had big support from inside the franchise’s power structure in 2014 before Jimmy Haslam ordered the staff to select Johnny Manziel, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. Volin, who notes the Browns studied the eventual second-round pick intensely, wonders if the new Browns’ brass would consider a Garoppolo trade after Tom Brady‘s suspension ends. The teams play in Week 5 in Cleveland, although the trade deadline doesn’t fall until November 1. A report earlier this week described third-round rookie Cody Kessler as being a ways away from being ready to contribute.
  • The Bengals’ cornerback corps is flush with high draft picks, and the team added another in 2016 third-rounder KeiVarae Russell off waivers from the Chiefs.

Vikings Sign Entire Draft Class

Well, that was pretty easy for the Vikings. While most teams tend to sign their draft choices in drips and drabs, the Vikings announced that they have signed their entire 2015 draft class. Those ten rookies are:

  • Round 1, CB Trae Waynes
  • Round 2: LB Eric Kendricks
  • Round 3: DE Danielle Hunter
  • Round 4: OL T.J. Clemmings
  • Round 5: TE Mycol Pruitt
  • Round 5: WR Stefon Diggs
  • Round 6: OL Tyrus Thompson
  • Round 6: DL B.J. Dubose
  • Round 7: OL Austin Shepherd
  • Round 7: LB Edmond Robinson

The signing of Waynes was leaked out earlier today by Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. The eleventh player selected in the 2015 draft, Waynes will earn nearly $13MM over the life of his rookie contract, and will have the opportunity to make several extra million in 2019 if Minnesota exercises his fifth-year option. Because he just missed the cutoff to be a top-10 pick, Waynes’ fifth year won’t be as pricey as it otherwise would’ve — those amounts aren’t known yet, but for 2016 options, the difference in salaries between a top-10 cornerback and a corner picked between 11th and 32nd exceeded $3.5MM.

Kendricks was last season’s Butkus Award winner, giving him the crown of best collegiate linebacker in the country. Kendricks’ brother, Mychal, plays for the Eagles and father Marvin Kendricks, played running back at UCLA and enjoyed a stint in the CFL.

With ten UDFAs also in the fold, the Vikings’ roster is now at 90 players, according to the press release.

Vikings, Eric Kendricks Agree To Deal

The Vikings continue to lock up 2015 draftees today, reaching an agreement with their second-round pick, per Darren Wolfson of KSTP (Twitter link). Wolfson reports that linebacker Eric Kendricks has agreed to terms with Minnesota.

Kendricks, a former UCLA Bruin, was selected 45th overall last week by the Vikings. That draft slot means he’ll be in line for a four-year contract of about $5.156MM, with a signing bonus of almost exactly $2MM. Unlike Trae Waynes, who signed his rookie contract with the Vikings earlier today, Kendricks’ deal doesn’t include a fifth-year option, so he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 2018 season.

Minnesota now has three of its 10 draft picks in the fold, having also agreed to terms with sixth-round offensive lineman Tyrus Thompson today.