NFL Rumors: The Minnesota Vikings Aren’t Closing The Door On Everson Griffen
A new report published on Tuesday night noted the Minnesota Vikings haven’t completely moved on from Everson Griffen. The defensive tackle was thought to be on the move earlier this offseason via free agency. Since he hasn’t found a new team, there are rumblings the team might be willing to bring him back, if they don’t believe they can replace him for less money through the draft.
Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk quoted a conference call from Vikings general manager Rick Spielman as backing up the idea the team isn’t 100 percent done with Griffen. Spielman was addressing how his front office saw six defenders leave the roster via free agency. He made it clear some of the players they let walk were let go because of dollars and not because they didn’t want them. He also said some were allowed to leave because the Vikings needed a bit of a shake-up.
“It had nothing to do with them as people or what they do for our community. It’s just sometimes, I would bet we’ve kept that defense together as long as anyone has in that six-year span, it’s just, right now, we’re just in an evolution period of our roster.”
When the topic turned to Griffen, Spielman wouldn’t say talks between the defender and the Vikings had “broken down.” He added they had a good relationship with the player. This despite the fact Griffen had posted a long goodbye to the team when he hit free-agent waters.
Spielman claims he’s had some good conversations with Griffen since he left the team. At the same time, he wouldn’t comment on a question asking if the “good relationship” meant there was a chance Griffen could come back.
Other sources around the Vikings have said Griffen “probably” won’t be coming back. Those same sources have said if Spielman doesn’t get the pass rusher he wants in the draft, the door could still be open.
Griffen has spent his entire career in Minnesota. He’s fourth on the team in sacks with 74.5 in his career. While he hasn’t pulled down double digits in quarterback sacks in a couple of years, he’s shown he is still a competent pass rusher. In 2019, he logged 41 tackles, eight sacks, and 24 quarterback hits. Those QB hits were near Griffen’s career-high. He also recorded just his second interception of his 10-year career.
If there is a reunion of the Vikings and Griffen, it will likely happen shortly after the draft takes place, according to sources close to the team.