Updated 08:30 AM EST, Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Minnesota Vikings Trade LB Gerald Hodges to San Francisco 49ers, Gets Center Nick Easton in Exchange

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Linebacker Gerald Hodges has been traded by the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round pick.

NBC Sports said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman made the announcement of trading Hodges, who has a record of 20 tackles since he was selected in the 2013 draft.

According to ESPN's Ben Goessling, the Vikings general manager noted that they like the performance of linebacker Eric Kendricks and grabbed the "chance to use linebacker depth to help other areas."

Easton will reportedly give the team another option on their center position as John Sullivan is on injured reserve and Joe Berger is set to start the four games this season.

On its website, the Vikings further explained that getting Easton was not because of Sullivan's health condition.

"We tried to sign him after the draft. He played very well in the preseason. We've monitored him when he was with the [Baltimore] Ravens, and I believe San Francisco traded for him at the 53-man cut because I know they had some injuries at that position," Spielman added.

The general manager also said that this will be another shot of the team to have a young player in the team who can still improve his skills.

"It's because of how we feel about Kendricks. We felt we had a lot of depth at that position. We feel strongly about Audie Cole and what he can bring and how well he's been playing, but the development of Kendricks and Edmond Robinson continues to come along and we still have (Brandon) Watts on our practice squad at that position," he added.

The team also earlier sent a sixth-round pick before the beginning of the season to San Diego to get lineman Jeremiah Sirles.

"It's an opportunity in my mind, we got our sixth-round pick back that we used to trade for (Jeremiah) Sirles and also add another young player to see what he's about," Spielman explained in the team's official website.

Meanwhile, he indicated that Hodges had great contributions to their team. "I think Gerald has played very well for us. It's shown up on tape. He's grown up tremendously," the general manager said noting that it was a difficult decision to let him go.

"But when you have depth and youth at a position and you can make a move from a business perspective on getting your team better when you have extra pieces to move, I think you always have to look at those," he added.

Hodges is expected to provide depth for the defense of the 49ers after losing linebacker Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, who recently retired, as per Sports Illustrated.

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