Former Vikings linebacker decides to retire from the NFL

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Todd Davis
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Todd Davis /

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis is retiring from the NFL after a brief stint with the New York Giants.

2020 was an incredibly strange season for the Minnesota Vikings, especially for a team with Mike Zimmer as their head coach.

Zimmer prides himself on having teams with elite defenses and last year, the Vikings were terrible on the defensive side of the ball. But with the unit full of inexperience and replacements for injured players, the performance of Minnesota’s defense in 2020 wasn’t too surprising.

One of those replacements was Todd Davis, an undrafted linebacker out of the powerhouse college of Sacramento State that spent a handful of seasons with the Denver Broncos. Davis wound up joining the Vikings during the middle of the 2020 campaign after Anthony Barr was lost in Week 2 to a season-ending injury.

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis is done playing in the NFL

In 2020, Davis ended up appearing in 11 games for Minnesota and he was a starter in six of them. He finished last season with just 35 tackles (two for a loss), two pass breakups, and one sack.

After the 2020 campaign came to a close, Davis became a free agent. Unsurprisingly, the Vikings decided to not bring back the veteran linebacker for another season.

Last Saturday, Davis landed with the New York Giants with two other former members of Minnesota’s 2020 roster, Kyle Rudolph and Ifeadi Odenigbo.

Shortly after signing with the Giants, however, the veteran linebacker decided that he was actually going to retire instead. After his announcement, Davis said that he came to a decision after being asked to basically “start all over.”

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For a guy who has started 69 games in his NFL career, playing a reserve role for New York clearly wasn’t something he was interested in doing. So, instead, Davis is leaving the league and he says he will now be moving on to “other ventures in [his] life.”