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Chad Greenway recorded 154 tackles and was named to the Pro Bowl last season. With the five-year extension he signed last off-season he should be a staple in the defense until 2015.
At the end of the 2011 season, I believed the Minnesota Vikings needed to change up their linebacking corp.
The 2011 starting lineup featured Chad Greenway and the Hendersons: E.J. and Erin.
Chad Greenway should be a staple in Minnesota's defense until his contract expires after the 2015 season. He recorded 154 tackles in 2011 and 144 in 2010. He's set.
But the Henderson brothers ... I felt both should have departed Minnesota's roster. E.J. is all set for unemployment, unless he's willing to accept less money, while Erin finds himself back on Minnesota's roster.
Erin accumulated 70 tackles in his first season as a starter and impressed others more than he impressed me. Walter Football named him as the No. 3 free agent outside linebacker in 2011, but I'm not as high on him as others.
He still has plenty of time to sway me, as one year is a limited period of time to show a player's skills, but after one I'm not blown away. He didn't make many big plays behind the line of scrimmage, but like his brother he is strong against the run and marginal against the pass. Minnesota thinks similarly to Walter Football and signed him to a one-year deal, which gives him an opportunity to prove himself. We'll see.
Rumors are abundant that E.J. may get re-signed by Minnesota, but it's time to move on. E.J. is 31-years-old and not getting any better. He hurts the youth movement. That leads us to Jasper Brinkley, the projected starting middle linebacker for Minnesota in 2012.
Brinkley showed great potential as a run-stopper in his fill-in role in 2009, but struggled mightily against the pass, much like E.J. in 2011. The two having similar skills, minus the leadership skills and knowledge of the defense.
Hopefully Brinkley gets his shot.