Former Vikings draft pick decides he is done playing in the NFL

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Gerald Hodges
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Gerald Hodges /

Currently without a team, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Gerald Hodges has decided to retire from the NFL after just six seasons.

Six years after the Minnesota Vikings decided to select him in the fourth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, linebacker Gerald Hodges announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday.

Hodges spent two and a half seasons with the Vikings before the team opted to include him in a trade package to acquire offensive lineman Nick Easton from the San Francisco 49ers in 2015.

His best year with Minnesota came during the 2014 season. He appeared in 14 games for the Vikings that year and finished with a total of 65 tackles, six pass breakups, one interception (that was returned for a touchdown), and 0.5 sacks.

In 2015, Hodges began the season as one of Minnesota’s three starting linebackers. However, he was taken out of the starting lineup for the Vikings’ Week 4 matchup and that was the last time he ever suited up in a purple and gold uniform.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer was reportedly a driving force behind the team’s decision to trade Hodges midway through the 2015 season. Zimmer was apparently fed up with the linebacker’s inability to fix his mistakes out on the field.

Hodges went on to remain with the 49ers until 2017 when he became a free agent. He ended up signing a deal with the Buffalo Bills, but the linebacker was unable to make the team’s final 53-man roster.

A few weeks after being let go by Buffalo, Hodges was picked up by the New Orleans Saints. He didn’t do much during his time with the Saints, but his most memorable moment of the season was easily when he recovered a blocked punt during the team’s Divisional Round playoff loss to the Vikings.

Last year, Hodges joined the Arizona Cardinals a few weeks before the start of the regular season. The veteran linebacker appeared in 16 games for the Cardinals in 2018, finishing with a total of 55 tackles.

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With Hodges announcing his retirement on Friday, Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes are the only two remaining members of Minnesota’s 2013 draft class that are still currently under contract in the NFL.