Vikings release linebacker Kendricks

Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks has been released ahead of 2023 NFL free agency, the team announced on Monday.

A mainstay in the Vikings' defense for the past eight seasons, Kendricks is now free to sign with a new team before the start of the new league year on March 15.

In a statement, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said: "As a Pro Bowler and team captain, a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and a leader of the Vikings social justice efforts, Eric leaves a powerful, permanent legacy within our organisation and the Minnesota community.

"While he is best known as a playmaker and respected linebacker across the league, Eric's contributions to the Vikings extend far beyond the field because of his selfless and unwavering commitment to improving societal issues.

"I have the utmost respect for Eric and wish him and Ally, along with their growing family, continued success in their next chapter."

Kendricks led Minnesota in tackles in seven of his eight seasons, with his total of 919 for the Vikings second among NFL players since 2015, behind only Bobby Wagner.

Highlights in 2022 included a goal-line recovery of a Josh Allen fumble for a touchdown against Buffalo Bills, helping the Vikings clinch the NFC North and finish the season 13-4, with his 137 total tackles ranking 14th in the NFL.