4 Vikings who will benefit most from free-agent signings so far
By Dean Jones
Eric Kendricks – LB
Now it might not seem much on the face of it, but the Vikings agreeing to terms with Nick Vigil is great news for Eric Kendricks. The All-Pro linebacker is the heart and soul of the defense and will remain so moving forward.
However, having the newest free-agent signing either alongside him at the second level or as a rotational piece could make all the difference in keeping the veteran on the field.
Losing Kendricks to injury in 2020 was the icing on a very sour cake for the Vikings, who went through arguably their worst statistical campaign on defense during the Mike Zimmer era. Things might have been different had everyone been available and with a couple of exciting pieces sure to come in via the 2021 NFL Draft, expect Minnesota to go back to their old selves in this area.
Whether the Vikings rely too much on Kendricks is up for debate. The signing of Vigil not only gives Minnesota the option to use the former third-round pick on the outside. But it could also keep their primary linebacker weapon fresh and firing on all cylinders for the duration of the campaign.
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There is a lot to like about the way Vigil went about his business with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020. He is a prolific tackling presence to call upon and considering the contract terms, it was a low-risk, high reward pickup by the Vikings.