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After five years of covering the Vikings, ESPN's Courtney Cronin has announced she's leaving Minnesota for Chicago.

She announced Monday she's "heading back home to cover the Chicago Bears," saying she has been offered "the opportunity of a lifetime to be back in the city that raised me and be near my family."

Her appointment comes after the death of ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson from colon cancer in December at the age of just 43. Cronin was close to Dickerson, who helped as she became involved with ESPN Radio in 2019, and they subsequently hosted a number of shows together.

Cronin says her move to Chicago is "bittersweet," saying Dickerson "set the standard for how to be a journalist, radio host, teammates, and friend."

"I will strive to carry on that standard while honoring his legacy in my next chapter," she said.

She says she counts the people she worked with while covering the Vikings "some of my closest friends."

"I know it isn't always easy for fans to ride the rollercoaster, but I did my absolute best to provide balanced analysis while always keeping it a buck," Cronin writes.

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She also thanked some of the Twin Cities-based outlets for whom she was a regular guest, including Bring Me The News partner Purple Insider, as well as Skor North and KFAN.

"Minnesota changed me in a lot of ways," Cronin continues. "I arrived from Oakland, California, at 27 years old not knowing anyone and very little about the team I would be covering. That evolved over time and Minneapolis proudly became my home."

Here's her full statement:

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