Free agent linebacker Eric Kendricks says he has agreed to join Chargers

Eric Kendricks, a veteran free agent linebacker who starred at UCLA, agreed to terms Monday with the Chargers after it appeared they failed to reach an agreement on a new contract with linebacker Drue Tranquill, their leading tackler last season. Kendricks broke the news on social media.

Kendricks spent the past eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the second round in 2015 after a standout career at UCLA that included winning the Butkus Award as college football’s top linebacker in 2014. The Vikings cut the 31-year-old on March 6 in a salary cap-related move.

The Chargers are likely to team Kendricks with Kenneth Murray Jr. as inside linebackers, with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack maintaining their roles as edge rushers in Coach Brandon Staley’s 3-4 defensive alignment. Tranquill is set to become a free agent on Wednesday at 1 p.m. (PT).

Last year, the Chargers upgraded their roster by adding Mack via a trade and cornerback J.C. Jackson and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, among others, through free agency. The Chargers, who were 10-7 last season, still finished ranked 20th defensively.

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Kendricks, whose deal is reportedly for two years, was 14th in the league this past season with 137 total tackles (87 solo). He had eight tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, one sack and six passes broken up.

According to Sportradar figures, the 2019 All-Pro is second among NFL linebackers in total tackles since 2015.

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