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5 Things to Know About New Chargers LB Eric Kendricks

Kendricks 5 Things

On Tuesday, the Chargers announced they have signed linebacker Eric Kendricks to a multi-year deal.

Here are five things to know about the Bolts new linebacker.

1. Former Viking

Kendricks' arrival means he will join a new team for the first time in his career. The longtime Minnesota linebacker spent all eight of his seasons in the NFL with the Vikings, making 113 career starts.

Kendricks is familiar with his new home stadium SoFi Stadium however, as he visited during the 2021 season with the Vikings. In that game, Kendricks hauled in an impressive interception off now-teammate Justin Herbert.

2. A decorated career thus far

Kendricks' career in the NFL thus far has seen him rack up his fair share of accolades.

A 2015 second-round pick (No. 45 overall), Kendricks burst onto the scene in Minnesota and made an impact from the jump. He became a starter early in his rookie year and never looked back, earning a nod on the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.

Arguably his most successful season in terms of accolades came in 2019, as he earned First-Team All-Pro honors and a Pro Bowl nod. That season saw him also rack up a career-high 12 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

In seven out of his eight years in Minnesota, Kendricks led the team in total tackles, including the 2017 season that saw the Vikings have the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL. He has a tendency to find the ball carrier, as he ranks sixth among active players in total tackles (919) and is tied for first in passes defended among linebackers (51).

3. Making a difference off the field

Kendricks' impact during his time in Minnesota spread farther than just on the field. Throughout his time in the NFL, Kendricks has been a leader in the community and with social justice.

He spent a lot of time helping others in many ways and was a key member of the Vikings Social Justice Committee. He took a leadership role following the killing of George Floyd in Spring 2020, becoming a leading voice in the fight for social justice.

During the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, Kendricks auctioned off original paintings and matched the purchase price for donations to food banks. Throughout his career, he has also raised funds to help bring food to those in need and made a meaningful impact in other ways as well.

Kendricks was named the Vikings 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee for his work and impact off the field and has continuously used his platform to inspire others and help the community.

Browse through photos of the Chargers newest linebacker, Eric Kendricks

4. California homecoming

Signing with the Bolts is a homecoming for Kendricks, as he returns to his home state of California. He also gets to return to Los Angeles, where he made a name for himself in the college ranks.

Before Kendricks made his mark on the NFL, he was a decorated linebacker at UCLA from 2011 to 2014, where he graduated with a degree in political science. He became a full-time starter from his sophomore year on, and led the team in tackles all three years as a starter.

His senior season in 2014 was his best season, as he earned Second-team All-America and Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. Kendricks led the FBS is solo tackles and became UCLA's first Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's best linebacker.

5. Leap-year baby

Kendricks celebrated his birthday last month … kind of.

The 31-year-old linebacker was born on February 29 in 1992, making him the one of only two active NFL players to be born on the Leap Day.

While he wasn't able to celebrate it on the exact date this year, he'll get a chance next year in 2024.

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