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Vikings release LB Eric Kendricks

The Vikings are moving on from a franchise great.

Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings takes the field prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have released linebacker Eric Kendricks as the franchise looks to clear cap space ahead of the 2023 league year. The new league year starts on March 15, but due to his release on March 6, Kendricks can sign with a new team as soon as he finds a new option.

The linebacker was due $9,150,000 in 2023 and would have counted as a $11,430,000 hit against the Vikings salary cap. By releasing him, the Vikings clear that $9.15 million base salary along with $350,000 in bonus money. They will carry $1.93 million in dead money. Minnesota came into Monday a projected $24,424,174 over the 2023 salary cap.

Kendricks was the Vikings starting middle linebacker and led the team with 137 total tackles last season. He had one sack and six pass deflections with one fumble recovery. During his time in Minnesota, Kendricks was named All-Rookie in 2015 and earned first-team All Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2019.