Jayron Kearse agrees to 1-year deal with Lions

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 20: Jayron Kearse #27 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota defeated Detroit 42-30. (Leon Halip / Getty Images)

After four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, special teams captain and back-up safety Jayron Kearse is leaving in free agency.

Kearse has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, which means the Vikings could face him at least twice in the 2020 season. There’s also a good chance the NFL suspends Kearse to start the regular season for violationg the league's substance abuse policy.

Kearse was arrested in late October on suspicion of drunk driving, and carrying a firearm without a permit. The incident happened after the Vikings beat the Washington Redskins 19-9 on Thursday Night Football. He was stopped by the State Patrol after driving on a portion of Interstate 94 in Minneapolis that had been shut down due to construction. A preliminary breath test at the scene indicated he had a blood alcohol level of .10, above the .08 legal limit for driving in Minnesota.

During the arrest, authorities located a loaded gun in his vehicle.

Kearse issued a public apology for the incident the following Monday. He chalked it up to making “a bad decision,” and coach Mike Zimmer was “very, very ticked off” after learning of the arrest.

On the field, Kearse made 28 tackles in 15 games, including three starts, in a reserve role for the Vikings last season. He also had six passes defended.

Kearse joins Linval Joseph, Stephen Weatherly, Stefon Diggs and Trae Waynes as players who have left the Vikings. The Vikings drafted Kearse in the seventh round in 2016.