Former Minnesota Vikings safety let go by the Detroit Lions

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jayron Kearse
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Jayron Kearse /

Former Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse was released by the Detroit Lions on Monday.

During their most recent game, the defense of the Minnesota Vikings couldn’t have performed much worse.

In their loss to the New Orleans Saints on Christmas Day, the Vikings gave up an embarrassing 52 points and 583 total yards. Minnesota’s defense being full of new faces and guys with very little NFL experience likely had a ton to do with the team’s disappointing performance against the Saints.

The unit seemed miles away from a defense that has ranked among the league’s best during the last few seasons.

Former Minnesota Vikings safety is now without a job

One underrated piece of the Vikings defense during the handful of years before their current campaign was safety Jayron Kearse. Not only did he perform well as a backup to Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, but Kearse also played a key role on special teams during his four seasons with Minnesota.

Kearse ended up being part of the veteran group of defenders that didn’t return to the Vikings in 2020 though. Instead, he was able to agree to a deal to stay in the NFC North with the Detroit Lions.

On Monday, the Lions decided to end Kearse’s tenure with only one game left in the 2020 season. It seems like an odd move since he was set to become a free agent in 2021 anyway, but this is Detroit we are talking about.

Kearse appeared in 11 games for the Lions this season, starting in seven of them. During his time on the field, the former Vikings safety racked up a career-high 59 tackles, two pass breakups, and one forced fumble.

Kearse has performed well this year, so his early departure from Detroit is definitely confusing. But if a top team in the NFC or AFC is looking to add safety depth before the start of the playoffs, the former Minnesota defender is someone who could probably help.