In order to get to know more bout Sendejo, I thought it’d benefit BGN readers to get a Minnesota Vikings perspective on him. In order to do that, I reached out to Christopher Gates (@Gates_DN) of Daily Norseman. Here’s what he had to say.
1) Can you summarize his stint in Minnesota?
Sendejo was a bit of a journeyman before he got to Minnesota, and started out as a core special teamer. Eventually, after a couple of years, he clawed his way into the starting spot at strong safety, and before his injury last year had been the primary starter since 2015. He’s had some injuries in the past, but nothing as serious as what he dealt with last season.
2) What’s the reaction to him leaving? Should the Vikings have brought him back?
I think that after Anthony Harris stepped in and had the sort of season that he had, people were a lot more comfortable with Sendejo leaving. He had signed an extension a couple of seasons ago, but was at a point in that deal where he no longer had any guaranteed money left and the Vikings could let him go without any negative effects. Harris has taken a similar route to Sendejo. . .starting out on the practice squad and then on special teams before becoming part of the defense. . .and is now a younger, cheaper, and frankly better option than Sendejo is. At this point, I think everyone is pretty comfortable with him departing.
3) What are his strengths?
Sendejo is a pretty physical “in the box” safety, and is always willing to come down and deliver a hit, whether it’s in run support or against opposing receivers. He’s had his moments in coverage as well, but that’s certainly not what his forte is. But, if you want someone that can serve as a third safety in a “big nickel” set or provide solid run support, you could definitely do worse than Sendejo.
4) What are his weaknesses?
Sendejo’s play can charitably be described as “incredibly reckless.” He’s certainly delivered his share of big hits, but there have been just as many times where he’s just put his helmet down and launched himself into a target. . .whether it’s an opponent or one of his teammates. (He put a hit on Xavier Rhodes in the Vikings’ game against the Chargers in 2015 that caused Rhodes to miss the entire second half.) He draws his fair share of unnecessary roughness penalties, and while I don’t know if his style of play has necessarily contributed to him missing games over the years, I don’t know how long he’ll be able to maintain his style of play.
5) It looks like Sendejo will be serving as a third safety in Philly, as opposed to being a full-time starter. Do you think he can have success as a role player?
I think he can certainly be successful in that role. We haven’t seen the particulars of the contract yet, so I’m not sure how much the Eagles are paying him to be their third safety, but he’s played a lot of special teams in the past. If the Eagles ask him to play that role again, and he’s willing to accept it after being a starter for so long, I definitely think he can be an asset there as well.
6) Anything else to know about him off the field?
I can’t think of any pressing off the field stuff, to be honest. He seems to be a decent enough guy, and he was sort of leading a “Make Football Violent Again” campaign (complete with hats) last offseason, but other than that he doesn’t really make a lot of noise off the field.