The Minnesota Vikings have released veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks. The team announced the move in a release sent Monday morning.

"As a Pro Bowler and team captain, a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and a leader of the Vikings social justice efforts, Eric leaves a powerful, permanent legacy within our organization and the Minnesota community," Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said in a statement on the Vikings' website. "While he is best known as a playmaker and respected linebacker across the league, Eric's contributions to the Vikings extend far beyond the field because of his selfless and unwavering commitment to improving societal issues. I have the utmost respect for Eric and wish him and Ally, along with their growing family, continued success in their next chapter."

Kendricks, 31, was drafted by Minnesota in 2015 with a second round (45th overall) draft pick after starring at UCLA, where he won the Butkus award as the nation's top linebacker.

With the Vikings, Kendricks made the NFL's first team All-Pro team and was a Pro Bowler in 2019. In 117 games with Minnesota Kendricks made 919 tackles, recorded 15 sacks, recovered six fumbles and intercepted nine passes.

The Vikings are well over the salary cap heading into the 2023 season, so the release of the veteran linebacker is likely to be the first of many offseason moves made by the team.

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