As the 2022 NFL season comes to an end, the Minnesota Vikings are quickly learning about their lack of linebacker depth.
Not too long ago, linebacker was the deepest position on defense for the Minnesota Vikings. Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr paved the way for Mike Zimmer’s defense thanks to their versatility and high-impact play each and every week. A few years later, that is just no longer true.
Kendricks has been one of the best – and most underrated – interior linebackers in the NFL since arriving in Minnesota. He has consistently been the team’s top tackler while being a reliable defender in coverage. Kendricks has truly been a leader for a team that has lacked a voice for the past two seasons.
Barr, on the other hand, has struggled to stay healthy lately, which is certainly not his fault. Injuries will happen to everyone and Barr is hitting some bad luck of late. Still, with his contract coming to an end after this season, the Vikings should not feel pressured to pay Barr another high salary.
Minnesota needs to recognize that the linebacker position is not what it once was and spend this offseason fixing the issue before it is too late. They have tried getting pieces later in the draft and on cheap deals in free agency lately, but that has not worked in their favor.
In 2022, the Vikings have to be more aggressive in cleaning up the second level of the defense. Here are a few ways to do that without risking everything in their future.