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Vikings release Erin Henderson after two arrests

Erin Henderson AP

The solace for guys getting cut this time of year is, it gives them a head start on free agency.

Of course, Erin Henderson also made the Vikings’ decision easy for them.

The team announced they had released the veteran linebacker Friday.

They cleared $2.1 million worth of cap space with the move, but it was likely inevitable after his second suspicion of DUI arrest in January. He had been stopped on similar charges in November.

While the 27-year-old Henderson was a full-time player in the middle and on the weakside, his status wasn’t certain before the arrests. And with a new coach coming on board, he was very expendable, if only to provide a lesson to others.

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58 Responses to “Vikings release Erin Henderson after two arrests”
  1. carpalboss says: Feb 7, 2014 3:29 PM

    Welcome to the new Minnesota Vikings…..your crappy behavior will NOT be tolerated.

  2. nfl4days says: Feb 7, 2014 3:29 PM

    How about that vikings dynasty?

  3. packerbackernj says: Feb 7, 2014 3:30 PM

    This guy was suppose to be all pro this year right? On the top ranked defense?

  4. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 7, 2014 3:32 PM

    Wow, am I glad that’s over with. When Audie Cole stepped in to start this past year he was twice as good as Henderson. We drafted Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti last year, each of whom I have no doubt is better than Henderson now that they’ll be in their second year. They could even draft a linebacker in the first round. It’s nice to move forward.

  5. glennsyank13 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:32 PM

    His name is Erin.

  6. scoops1 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:32 PM

    Al Davis on line 2….

    oh wait….Mark Davis on line 2

  7. ariani1985 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:33 PM

    Come to green bay, we play clown music at our practices!

  8. imthaschmidt says: Feb 7, 2014 3:33 PM

    GOODBYE!

  9. freeigwebuike says: Feb 7, 2014 3:33 PM

    There’s new sheriff in town! Behavior like that shown by Erin is not going to be tolerated under Zim! Skol Vikes!

  10. 4allintensivepurposes says: Feb 7, 2014 3:34 PM

    The lesson was, if you’re going to drink and drive, make sure you are talented.

  11. deltaoracle says: Feb 7, 2014 3:34 PM

    Vikings… trouble with the law…
    Minnesota… drunken driving…
    The names change, but the beat goes on.

  12. sdsmooth says: Feb 7, 2014 3:35 PM

    Boy … Erin got a raw deal. Usually you don’t get cut in Minnesota until after your 4th or 5th arrest.

  13. fmc651 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:37 PM

    Everyone knew this was happening. Erin blew his chance in MN. I hope he catches on with another team.

  14. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Feb 7, 2014 3:38 PM

    Henderson’s character has been suspect since his college days.

    And if you run any IDP FF teams, you should have already had MLB Audie Cole – but if you don’t, go snag him. He’s the real deal.

  15. grantsbuds says: Feb 7, 2014 3:39 PM

    More time for him to do what he’s good at…….drink.
    But seriously, good luck. Tampa Bay? Chicago? CFL?

  16. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Feb 7, 2014 3:40 PM

    He generally looks lost as the Mike in a Tampa-2. There are certain times however in all fairness where, when supporting the run, he can limit mid-tier halfbacks to an average of 1 yard a carry. He does show potential in that respect. I wouldn’t be suprised to see him link back up with Coach Frazier and Coach Smith in Tampa Bay.

  17. FlashPatterson says: Feb 7, 2014 3:40 PM

    Didn’t do too bad for an undrafted guy. Older bro was 10x the player Erin was though.

  18. banlarson says: Feb 7, 2014 3:45 PM

    Stop-gap player and a testament to how poorly the Vikings have done at acquiring talent and providing talent in the secondary and linebacker corp. Henderson is a prime example of young man who was given every opportunity to succeed and he flushed it.

  19. rooski443 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:45 PM

    The “talent evaluators” on the team are surprised at this move. However, anyone who has seen Erin play is saying, “laddi friggin da.”

  20. purplezimmerpride says: Feb 7, 2014 3:46 PM

    Looks like our NFC North worst defense is still in decline.

  21. nicofthenorthstar says: Feb 7, 2014 3:47 PM

    Good move. Sets an example and he is overrated (by himself, anyway).
    Will not be difficult to replace.

  22. contra74 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:48 PM

    Meanwhile, in Green Bay they welcome convicts like Jolley.

  23. wsperegoiv says: Feb 7, 2014 3:53 PM

    Good move: not very talented, character concerns, and clears cap space. He had to go.

  24. GenXJay says: Feb 7, 2014 3:54 PM

    packers should pick him up. he has knuckles.

  25. fwippel says: Feb 7, 2014 3:54 PM

    Sad to see this for Henderson, but he’s put himself in this situation. His older brother was a better player in his prime.

    But the Viking LB group hasn’t done much in recent years, and even Chad Greenway is on the wrong side of 30, and starting to play like it.

    Addition by subtracting; free up cap space and make way for an upgrade.

  26. geeoh2k13 says: Feb 7, 2014 3:54 PM

    Live in MN, but not a Vikings fan. Met him at a club several years back, thought he was a douche back then. He used to come on the local sports radio station, proclaiming that he was the best. He’s not even the best in his own family. I hope that EJ kicks his @ss.

  27. deltaoracle says: Feb 7, 2014 4:02 PM

    The Zimster will run the tightest, toughest ship to sail from Vikingville since Les Steckel. Or whoever was in charge of that “Love Boat” cruise. One or the other.

  28. Norseman says: Feb 7, 2014 4:02 PM

    Good move. DUI was only the straw to break the camel’s back. His play at LB wasn’t worth keeping.

  29. drunkinsconnie says: Feb 7, 2014 4:06 PM

    Nobody will miss this clown shoe.

  30. 702vikes says: Feb 7, 2014 4:09 PM

    both henderson brothers had solid stints in purple, good luck erin, he had a good story from bein undrafted to becoming an nfl starter. SKOL

  31. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 7, 2014 4:15 PM

    If you compare Henderson’s statistics from last year to A.J. Hawk’s, it’s clear Henderson is the better player.

  32. nottl1 says: Feb 7, 2014 4:28 PM

    This has more to do about talent than anything else. If his initials were AP or CP the Vikings would have sent him to “counseling” and not cut him.

  33. chinahand11 says: Feb 7, 2014 4:29 PM

    Great move by Vikes: save money, get rid of an underachiever and potential locker-room cancer. Anyone who paid attention to this guy can see that he was the second coming of Marcellus Wiley – play hard one down and take the next two off.

  34. emoney826 says: Feb 7, 2014 4:37 PM

    Lol no thanks. The packers defense doesn’t need any pathetic pieces from that Minnesota defense. As bad as the packers defense was, the Vikings were worse.

    Nice to see Viking fans turning on a guy they were praising as one of the best middle linebackers in football two years ago. Makes a mistake and now they hate.

  35. backdapack4evr says: Feb 7, 2014 4:50 PM

    A dynasty of outlaws!!
    Real nice!!

  36. backdapack4evr says: Feb 7, 2014 5:01 PM

    The only hope the Vikings have is “even the losers get lucky sometimes”.
    When is the camp snoopy expansion going to be complete!!

  37. theytukrjobs says: Feb 7, 2014 5:06 PM

    Somewhat surprised by the move. Zimmer doesn’t mind taking guys with checkered pasts and a mean streak. Henderson would fit that mold. I thought the Zimmer hire gave him a glimmer of hope. Guess not.

  38. GenXJay says: Feb 7, 2014 5:21 PM

    more money to sign Tate & Bennett!

  39. jedyknyt says: Feb 7, 2014 5:22 PM

    If he was any good Zimmer would have kept him around…and your hearing this from a Viking fan!

  40. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:24 PM

    emoney826…

    There was absolutely, positively no vikings fan on earth that said such malarkey.

  41. rubio4life says: Feb 7, 2014 6:01 PM

    The ego on this guy was crazy. Would cry that no team offered him a big contract and then instead of working hard he got drunk and arrested. I really hope he finds himself but NO team needs him. The Vikings are gonna be great. Skol Zimmer.

  42. coachkilla6 says: Feb 7, 2014 6:46 PM

    Viking players will stop at nothing to get off that dumpster fire of a “team”. Jennings conveyed that to Rodgers, AP said that to the Press, Leslie was thrilled to get canned, and now EH can’t even bother to stay sober anymore.

    Christ that’s a horrible franchise!

  43. thevikesarebest says: Feb 7, 2014 6:50 PM

    The Viking>your franchise

  44. fritz1218 says: Feb 7, 2014 7:57 PM

    Aw they are just making room for another Packer hand me down!!

  45. mediasloppy says: Feb 7, 2014 8:27 PM

    I laugh at all you people talking bad about him. He didn’t help himself by drinking and driving, but if you’re ragging on his playing you are dead wrong.
    —————————————
    Hard work. Resiliency. Production. The ingredients to success for Vikings middle linebacker Erin Henderson, who in his first year as the Vikings middle linebacker has shown steady improvement and is currently the team’s leading tackler.

    First for Henderson was hard work. He joined the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland in 2008 and at first was known simply as EJ Henderson’s little brother. Since then, though, Erin has grown exponentially as a player. He began as a deep reserve on the linebacker depth chart who carved out a niche on special teams.
    Then it was resiliency. Year after year, Henderson climbed the depth chart, eventually ascending to the starting lineup on the outside and ultimately this year the Vikings elevated him to the starting middle linebacker role, a job #50 has embraced wholeheartedly.
    And now it’s the production. Henderson leads the Vikings in tackles with 120 and is on pace for 214, a total that would be the highest for a Vikings defender since Scott Studwell’s 215 in 1983. In addition to leading the team in tackles, he also leads the team in tackles for loss with 13.0. Henderson is tied for the team lead with two interceptions, is tied for second on the team with 3.0 sacks and has added five quarterback hurries and three passes defensed for good measure. This season Henderson has been the Vikings leading tackler in five games, he has a tackle for loss in eight of nine games and he has double-digit tackles in seven of nine games.
    Football is the ultimate team game, but often times the NFL is a league defined by it’s high-profile stars who enter amid much fanfare and earn mega-buck contracts. That’s why it’s refreshing to see stories like Henderson’s – stories of talented, hard-working players who pay their dues while gradually and methodically working their way up the depth chart to to earn reward and recognition for a job well done.

    Did You Know?
    – Henderson is the second Vikings linebacker in team history to notch 2.0 sacks and an interception in the same game, joining only Mike Merriweather in 1989 against Detroit.
    – In the 2013 offseason Henderson capped a lifelong affection for big cats by joining with National Geographic Foundation, visiting their offices in Washington, DC and pledging a donation for the Foundation’s Big Cats Initiative.

    http://www.chatsports.com/minnesota-vikings/a/Man-in-the-Middle-Erin-Henderson-Having-Career-Season-1-8808292

  46. hoodoosteve says: Feb 7, 2014 11:44 PM

    Fire Zimmer!!!!!!

  47. seahonky says: Feb 7, 2014 11:57 PM

    On behalf of all seahawk fans, we thank the Vikings for giving us Percy Harvin. Btw, you can keep Ponder

  48. thebigscore1 says: Feb 8, 2014 12:44 AM

    he wasnt that good. the 7th round pick was taking his job away from him all year that says alot about erin. hes no cj

  49. bobnelsonjr says: Feb 8, 2014 6:50 AM

    He was already suspended by the league for steroid use and when you add multiple DUI arrests you have an undisciplined substance abuser.

    Now when you start an undisciplined substance abuser that has little talent, that is the kind of typical stupid viking story that people laugh about.

    The vikings write their own jokes and earn the disrespect they accumulate.

  50. mnsadsportsfan says: Feb 8, 2014 7:47 AM

    Good riddance he was soft and always tried to play the choir boy.

  51. jimatmad says: Feb 8, 2014 8:25 AM

    The Vikings will be scanning the Packer waiver wire looking for Henderson’s replacement.

  52. maximillionwinter says: Feb 8, 2014 8:51 AM

    definitely will not be missed. thought Cole should’ve started in 2012. 2 Penn State LB’s from last year’s draft may step up. hope so.

  53. filthymcnasty1 says: Feb 8, 2014 1:09 PM

    I’m sure they can find someone just as hapless and tasteless to replace him.

  54. jboody79 says: Feb 8, 2014 5:24 PM

    Has anyone checked on P.A. yet? I’m sure he’s off crying somewhere since he just lost his BFF on the team. Well I guess we won’t be hearing Gizmo Henderson on the radio anymore!

  55. purpleguy says: Feb 8, 2014 5:47 PM

    Is a poster above really basing Henderson’s value on the number of tackles as the MLB — the position that should lead the defense in tackles? Sheesh. The guy was okay on the outside, but as an MLB, was horrible in his drops in passing plays, couldn’t fight off blocks, and consistently over-ran plays. He was an average LB at best. However, I hope he gets his act together and signs with a team that plays him on the outside where he belongs.

  56. dcviking says: Feb 8, 2014 7:45 PM

    Rumor is that Henderson is looking directly east to a state where DUI is accounted for by actually teaching people to drive under the influence.

  57. timaug says: Feb 9, 2014 1:17 AM

    GREAT FOR MINNESOTA !
    There should be some morals in professional sports.

  58. whatjusthapped says: Feb 9, 2014 3:02 PM

    I’d be drinking too if I had to play for that lousy defense.

    How many games did the Vikings lose last year in the final two minutes? I think it was either 5 or 6 but either way, its a lot.

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