Vikings sign Eric Kendricks to reported five-year, $50 million extension

One of the most important pieces from the Minnesota Vikings' league-best scoring and yardage defense is sticking around long term. The Vikings announced on Monday that they've signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a multi-year contract extension. 

Per multiple reports, the new deal for Kendricks is for five years and $50 million, with $25 million of that sum guaranteed. 

The $50 million total on his deal is the second-most among all inside linebackers, per Spotrac, while the $10 million average annual value ranks fourth and the $25 million guarantee is third. 

Kendrick is likely the first in a string of defenders the Vikings will lock up, as important defenders like Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter will become free agents after this coming season. Sheldon Richardson and Brian Robinson both only have one year on their deals as well, but they are not necessarily guaranteed to be pieces of the Vikings' long-term core unless they prove they should be throughout the 2018 campaign. 

With Kendricks, Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, and Harrison Smith all signed through at least 2021, the Vikings should have a strong defense for a very long time, whether they are able to re-sign Barr and Hunter or not. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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