It's time for Portland to rebuild
Hello darkness my old friend...
The Minnesota Vikings made a big move in free agency this offseason, signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed deal. Now with decisions to make regarding some existing core players, they've signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a long-term contract extension.
Kendricks, a second-round pick in 2015 out of UCLA, has started 41 of 45 career games over three seasons. He has led the Vikings in tackles in all three campaigns, with over 100 total tackles in each of the last two seasons, along with 7.5 total sacks and two career interceptions (both returned for touchdowns).
Based on average annual value ($10 million per year), as of right now anyway, Kendricks will become the league's fourth-highest paid linebacker.
With Kendricks in the fold long-term, the Vikings can now shift focus to other guys entering the final year of their contracts. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, cornerback Trae Waynes (team option for 2019), linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter are in line for new deals too, and it's unlikely all four will be back with the Vikings in 2019.
But it's clear Kendricks was a priority, perhaps in equal measure to being a key cog in the defense and contract negotiations that rolled along smoothly.