E Point Perfect

Former Vikings Pass Rusher Signs in the AFC


Sep 13, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass in the first half as Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports.

In the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, general manager Rick Spielman added another edge rusher to a crowded position group. The roster already included star rusher Everson Griffen, multi-year starter Brian Robison and up and coming superstar Danielle Hunter.

Ifeadi Odenigbo

Ifeadi Odenigbo
Dec 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

We all know him as Ifeadi Odenigbo, but his real name is more complicated than that – Ifeadikachukwu Anthony Odenigbo. He was born in New Jersey to Nigerian parents. No other family member before him was born in the United States.

In High School, his team achieved a state championship, and he was recognized with multiple Player of the Year honors. Outside of football, he was an exceptional athlete who competed in the 200 and 400-meter-dash and set records.

He moved on to play football at Northwestern. Odenigbo ended his collegiate career as the second-best in the sack category with 23.5.

NFL Career

The former college standout spent his rookie year in the NFL on the Vikings’ practice squad. After he was cut in September 2018 on the final cut day, the Browns claimed the former Vikings pass rusher off waivers and waived him just three weeks later, and the Cardinals claimed him. Odenigbo played his first career game for them, but once again, he didn’t stay long on the roster.

By claiming him, the Vikings brought their former pass rusher back to the organization, and he was a part of the practice squad again. In 2019, he made the 53-man roster and appeared in all 16 games. Odenigbo recorded incredible seven sacks and even scored a touchdown after a fumble recovery.

Hunter missed the entire 2020 season, and Griffen left in free agency, so the starting spots were up for grabs. Odenigbo started all 15 of his games that season but failed to reach the same level of play he provided in 2019.

After the 2020 season, Odenigbo was once again a free agent. He quickly signed a contract with the New York Giants but was released at the end of Training Camp.

After he had two stints with the Vikings, the Browns picked him up for a second time as well. Odenigbo played nine games for the 2021 Cleveland Browns but failed to get a single sack, but he recovered a crucial fumble in Week 14 against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens.

His 5th Team in the NFL

Ifeadi Odenigbo
Violet Gray, Ifeadi Odenigbo, and Dustin Baker

Odenigbo reportedly signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts have an excellent defensive line. It will not be easy for the 28-year-old to receive playing time. 2021 first-rounder Kwity Paye and the sack leader of the 2020 Minnesota Vikings, Yannick Ngakoue, are the projected starters.

Overall, Ifeadi Odenigbo played 31 games for the Minnesota Vikings and started 15 of them. He recorded 10.5 sacks and 58 tackles and crossed the goal line with the football once.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. He chose the Vikings as his favorite team, despite Christian Ponder being the quarterback at the time. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Arguing about the Vikings on Twitter is one of his favorite things to do. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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