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Jasper Brinkley Signs Two-Year Deal with Cowboys

The now former Vikings middle linebacker is headed to Dallas.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it happened. A longtime member of the Minnesota Vikings has left to join the Dallas Cowboys.

(No, not that one. Not yet, at least.)

After spending his first four professional seasons in Minnesota from 2009 to 2012, Jasper Brinkley spent 2013 with the Arizona Cardinals and then came back for a second stint with the Vikings in 2014. This stay didn't last as long as his first.

The news broke late Thursday night that Brinkley, an unrestricted free agent, has signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys.

With the Vikings already thin at linebacker and the future of Chad Greenway's role on the team uncertain, it comes as a mild surprise that Minnesota let Brinkley walk. According to Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune, the team had discussed a return but obviously didn't put in a ton of effort:

Brinkley was never a superstar but was a serviceable, hard-working man in the middle for the Minnesota defense. He was kind of the definition of "league average". His Pro Football Focus ratings back it up--he hovered between -0.7 and +1.3 for every single game this past season for an overall rating of +2.5. Brinkley wasn't an irreplaceable part of the defense by any means. However, his departure means that middle linebacker is a definite need for the Vikings going forward--unless of course the Mike Mauti and Audie Cole truthers are to be believed.

As usual, terms of the contract weren't immediately available but we'll get them to you when they are. Stay tuned for more updates; maybe the Vikings will even add someone to join Shaun Hill!