Vikings sign LB Kendricks to contract extension

The Minnesota Vikings have locked down a core piece of their defense for five more seasons.

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Linebacker Eric Kendricks, who has been Minnesota’s leading tackler for the past three seasons, signed a five-year contract extension worth $50 million, the team announced Monday.

Kendricks was entering the 2018 season on the final year of his rookie contract.

Selected in the second round by the Vikings in 2015, Kendricks has compiled 314 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 16 passes defensed and two interceptions in his NFL career. He was a major factor in the Vikings’ finishing first in points, yards allowed and third-down defense in 2017.

Fellow linebacker Anthony Barr and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are set to be free agents after the 2018 season and could reach extensions this offseason, as well.