The New York Jets added some roster oomph Friday night after the franchise started training camp this week.
And he’s a former Minnesota Vikings defensive end – Ifeadi Odenigbo.
Former Viking joins Aaron Rodgers’ team
The 33rd team Ari Meirov tweeted“The Jets have signed veteran pass rusher Ife Odenigbo, who recorded 3.5 sacks last year and has a career total of 14 sacks.”
Odenigbo last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts in 2022 and will now team up with the Vikings’ former chief rival, quarterback Aaron Rogers, who came to New York via trade in April.
A journeyman now, here is Odenigbo’s resume to date:
- Minnesota Vikings (2017)
- Cleveland Browns (2018)
- Arizona Cardinals (2018)
- Minnesota Vikings (2018-2020)
- New York Giants (2021)
- Cleveland Browns (2021)
- Indianapolis Colts (2022)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2022)
- New York Jets (2023)
Odenigbo made headlines last December when the Colts somewhat shockingly released the man. The strangest part about the transaction involved Odenigbo’s performance against the Vikings. Unlike his old teammates, Odenigbo totaled two tackles, a blocked punt and a sack — often called a Pro Bowl-like day in some circles. However, the production was Odenigbo’s best of the season, as the Northwestern alum has one Pro Football Focus grade of 49.9 in 2022, which is more in line with a player who would be on the chopping block. Still, the timing was odd.
Odenigbo’s career in Minnesota ended after the 2020 season when the Vikings tapped DJ Wonnum for their ‘Ifeadi role’ in 2021. That season, Odenigbo signed with the aforementioned Browns, presumably a nod to his bond with Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski, who ran the Vikings job in Ohio in 2019 before taking the big offense in Ohio.
Odenigbo, 29, made a splash for the Vikings in the 2019 season, posting 7 sacks in unheralded fashion. He played in all 16 games for the 2019 Vikings—the last purple and gold team to have a winning record before 2022—while not starting any of the games. Most notably, Odenigbo scored a defensive touchdown in a drive by the Los Angeles Chargers during the 2019 season.
Because Odenigbo performed well in 2019, he got the gig as a starting EDGE rusher for the 2020 Vikings after Minnesota lost Danielle Hunter, the starter, to a neck injury. In 15 starts that season, Odenigbo had just 3.5 sacks, a meager number for a starting EDGE rusher who played nearly 70% of defensive snaps.
All told, Odenigbo has recorded 90 total tackles, 37 QB hits, 14 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and of course the blocked punt against the Vikings last year – in 55 career games.
The Jets also employ Vikings players Tyler Conklin (TE), Craig James (CB) and Chazz Surratt (LB).
The financial terms of Odenigbo’s new deal were not immediately available.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNu. He is hosting a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Krydderi. His Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’, Basset Hounds and The Doors (band).