Steelers Free Agency: Vikings to Release All-Pro LB Eric Kendricks
The Minnesota Vikings will release All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, adding a new name to a potential Steelers free agency list at inside linebacker.
Kendricks was a first-team All-Pro back in 2019 who was picked by the team out of UCLA in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Over his seasons with the Vikings, he earned one All-Pro selection while racking up nearly 1000 tackles, 15 sacks, 9 interceptions, and 51 pass deflections with 113 total games started over his tenure in Minnesota.
With Aaron Curry now on the board as the Steelers’ inside linebacker coach, they could look to add a veteran like Kendricks. However, they often like to go younger when they sign free agents, or at least they did when they were under Kevin Colbert. Kendricks, 31, struggled in pass coverage this past year, registering one of the highest QB Rating against in the entire league among inside linebackers.
Still, Pittsburgh needs to land an inside linebacker in some capacity before the draft. It is not just that it is a need for quality players, they just don’t have a lot of players there period. Myles Jack’s future still hangs in the balance, too, which leaves Mark Robinson as the only sure thing that will be left there.
For Steelers free agency plans, expect them to attack the inside linebacker position. This could be another position where they sign a player and then draft someone else. It has long been a problem for the Steelers to find long-term options at inside linebacker, and this could be a pivotal offseason toward making strides for the position. If all ends up going well, the Steelers should at least head into the 2023 NFL Draft with their two starters, and they could look for a younger player to slot in behind the starters for the future.