4 Minnesota Vikings on the hot seat during 2022 playoffs

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Kendricks /

Eric Kendricks – LB

The Vikings know all too well the strengths Eric Kendricks brings to the table. His production since joining the franchise has been nothing short of exemplary and another comfortable 100-tackle season from the linebacker is proof positive of how important he’ll be when the playoffs begin.

One could argue that Kendricks hasn’t been at his best in 2022. It’s taken time to find his way within Ed Donatell’s scheme, although there’s just no telling how bad things would be at the second level without the former UCLA standout manning the interior.

As stated previously, the Vikings’ defense has to make monumental improvements to leave their mark in the playoffs. Kendricks is sure to play a leading role in whatever success comes their way, but the 2015 second-round pick could be fighting for his own future with the team for good measure.

Cutting or trading Kendricks with one year remaining on his deal represents a cap saving of $9.5 million. Considering how precarious things are financially for the Vikings in 2023, either scenario cannot be ruled out at this juncture.

Poor production from Kendricks in the postseason would increase this likelihood exponentially. Even if it would be extremely disappointing for large sections of Minnesota’s loyal fanbase.