June 17, 2024

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Linebacker Eric Kendricks was released prior to 2023 free agency

Linebacker Eric Kendricks was released prior to 2023 free agency

Kendricks recorded 54 tackles for a loss, matching his jersey number and ranking third all-time among Vikings players behind EJ Henderson (67) and Chad Greenway (62). He also totaled 51 passes defensed, 15 sacks, four forced fumbles, six pass fumbles and nine interceptions. Kendricks has started all six games the Vikings have played since 2015, totaling 43 tackles, seven passes defensed and an interception.

As the stats accumulated, Kendricks found more and more ways — and confidence — to speak out on behalf of social justice issues. He had regularly participated in community events organized by his teammates and the club before launching multiple initiatives to give back. Having grown up in a household with one single parent, the Kendricks honestly know how difficult times can be for those facing adversity.

Quietly visited youth residents of the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center seven times from 2018-2019 and continued virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kendricks also exchanged messages with many of the young men to encourage them.

The 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis also inspired Kendricks’ push for social justice reforms. He posted a raw video in which he emotionally challenged those in a position to help do more. His heart to make things better for others was evident in the video and beyond.

One of the sweetest relationships Kendricks has nurtured in Minnesota has been with every square and inmates who bypassed former prisons with the help of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit.