The Minnesota Vikings have signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a five-year contract extension worth about $50 million with $25 million guaranteed. Ian Rapoport shared the news of the extension on Twitter.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 16, 2018
General manager Rick Spielman said about Kendricks:
“Eric is just another young core player for us. Great player on the field. He does nothing but represent us in a first-class way out in the community, he’s a leader in the defense, he’s a leader in our locker room. His work ethic, his prep that he puts in week in and week out is why he’s such a dynamic player for us on Sundays.”
Kendricks was happy that a deal could be worked out and that he can continue to play for the Vikings for the foreseeable future.
“He (Kendrick’s agent Doug Hendrickson) always told me that the Vikings wanted to keep me here, and they knew I wanted to be here as well. It kind of made things easier to get done.”
Kendricks was drafted by the Vikings with the 45th pick overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Ever since, he has been a vital part of the Vikings defense, totaling 209 solo tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 26 quarterback hurries, 21 pass break-ups, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions over the past three seasons.
The Vikings made the biggest splash in free agency this offseason, signing former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed contract. Keeping Kendricks is a smart move on the part of the Vikings. Other players on the team, such as linebacker Anthony Barr, wide receiver Stefon Diggs and defensive end Danielle Hunter, will also need contract extensions soon. The Vikings will need to play their cards right if they want to keep their top players and stay relevant in the NFC.