Now that the Vikings have added Kirk Cousins to bolster the offense, they are turning their attention to nucleus players on the other side of the ball.Minnesota has signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a contract extension, the team announced Monday.
Kendricks is scheduled to make a base salary of $1.138 million in 2018 in the final season of his four-year rookie contract. It is a significant uptick in pay as he has quickly proven to be a vital part of the Vikings' defense as a core piece of the linebacker core.
He started in all 16 regular-season games and both postseason games previous year, recording 113 tackles with one sack, one interception and one touchdown. He started all 16 games at middle linebacker for the first time in his career in 2017, a year after he played 15 of the team's 16 games and made 109 tackles to go with a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Kendricks, 26, had 113 total tackles this past season, helping the Vikings defense become a dominant unit. Kendricks' deal is worth $50 million over the next five years, with $25 million of it guaranteed, a league source confirmed. The two are part of a defense that was ranked No. 1 in the National Football League last season.