LB Eric Kendricks Will Be Joining Cowboys, Not 49ers

After he was reported to have agreed to a one-year contract with the 49ers yesterday, veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks will instead sign with the Cowboys.

According to ESPN’S Adam Schefter, Kendricks had a change of heart, preferring to play in Dallas.

Kendricks was a cap casualty a week ago, getting released from his two-year contract with the Chargers after finishing second on the team in tackles.

The nine-year veteran had secured $6.63MM per year after leaving Minnesota for the first time and rewarded Los Angeles with 117 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and six passes defensed. Pro Football Focus graded Kendricks as the 25th best linebacker in the NFL.

A key presence at middle linebacker during the Vikings’ Mike Zimmer-era, Kendricks was tied to an eight-figure-per-year Minnesota deal two seasons ago.

Kendricks, 32, has put together eight straight seasons with 100-plus tackles, mixing in 18.5 career sacks.

He earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 2019, helping the Vikings to the divisional round, while starting for four playoff teams from 2015-22.

Kendricks was set to add some depth at linebacker in San Francisco. The 49ers fielded one of the NFL’s better defenses last year but were thrown for a loop when Dre Greenlaw tore his Achilles tendon in the Super Bowl last year. San Francisco will now be forced to look elsewhere for that depth.

Instead, Kendricks is set to reunite with Zimmer, who takes over as defensive coordinator in Dallas this offseason.

Zimmer sought an upgrade at middle linebacker on a defense that was stout against the pass but middling against the run.

Kendricks should slot in as a starter between Micah Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch, ceding time here and there to Damone Clark. Due to his experience with Zimmer, though, expect Kendricks to play a larger role in Dallas.



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