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Jasper Brinkley Signs With The Minnesota Vikings

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Former Gamecocks linebacker Jasper Brinkley returns to the Minnesota Vikings after one season with the Arizona Cardinals.

USA TODAY Sports

After spending last season with the Arizona Cardinals, former South Carolina linebacker, Jasper Brinkley has returned to the Minnesota Vikings. Originally a 2009 fifth round pick by the Vikings, Brinkley returns to where it all started on a one year deal.

Brinkley spent the first three seasons of his career with the Vikings. After a standout 2012 season in which Brinkley had 99 tackles and three forced fumbles, he went on to garner heavy interest on the open free agent market. Brinkley signed a two year contract with the Cardinals following the season.

The Cardinals opened the season with starting linebacker Daryl Washington serving a four-game suspension. Brinkley was slated to step into the starting middle linebacker role, while eventually serving as a compliment to Washington upon his return from suspension.

2013 was unkind to Brinkley as he saw his production decline, while also battling a nagging season long groin injury. In 15 games, Brinkley logged a pedestrian 27 total tackles. In his previous three seasons, prior to arriving in Arizona, Brinkley averaged 49 tackles a season.

Brinkley's lack of production and inability to stay healthy made him expendable in Arizona and his Cardinals career was cut short immediately following the 2013 season.

In Minnesota, Brinkley is currently penciled in to replace former starting linebacker Erin Henderson. Henderson was released by the Vikings this offseason after being arrested on two separate occasions for DUI.

Prior to signing with the Vikings, Brinkley also made a free agency visit with the Buffalo Bills.