Brinkley rejoined the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 after playing one season with the Arizona Cardinals. He was originally a 2009 fifth-round draft choice of the Vikings.
Last year, he played in all 16 games, starting 11 of them. He finished fifth on the team in tackles with 85 and had two tackles for a loss, one sack and one forced fumble. He had three special teams tackles and a blocked punt (vs. Carolina on Nov. 30 that was returned for a touchdown by Everson Griffen). His first career sack came Oct. 12 vs. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford.
As the middle linebacker, Brinkley came off the field on passing downs and therefore played in only 42.5 percent of the defensive snaps. He also played in 29 percent of the special teams snaps.
The Vikings had talked with Brinkley’s agent at the NFL Scouting Combine about a possible return, but his agreeing to terms with the Cowboys puts the Vikings in the market for a new middle linebacker.
They have investigated some of the draft possibilities, including a couple of the early-round possibilities, and there are a handful of starting possibilities left in free agency, including Cowboys free agent Rolando McClain, who has a possible four-game suspension looming, according to ESPN.
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