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Everson Griffen, Vikings Agree to Contract; Played in MIN from 2010-19

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2021

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that they have agreed to terms with free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen, who played for the organization from 2010 through 2019. 

Minnesota Vikings @Vikings

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ESPN's Jordan Schultz reported first the news.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted earlier Monday the contract was being worked on and that a reunion was "expected" ahead of the 2021 season "barring a snag."

Griffen split the 2020 campaign between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions.

The 33-year-old USC product opted out of his contract with the Vikings after the 2019 season and signed with the Cowboys last August. He was traded to the Lions in October, which set up a meeting with his former club in November.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer called Griffen a "good player" before the NFC North matchup, which didn't sit well with the four-time Pro Bowler.

"Coach Zimmer just wasn't a good coach, he was a great coach to me, so for him to call me a good player, that kind of hurts my feelings," Griffen told reporters. "On Sunday, I'm really looking forward to playing the Vikings and showing them that I am a great player."

The Arizona native then caused a stir in January with a series of Twitter posts, including one that said, "Kirk Cousins is ass." He later deleted the comments and apologized to the Vikings quarterback.

In July, Griffen reiterated his desire to rejoin the Vikings and sent a text message to KFAN's Paul Allen (via Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated) saying his decision to depart was a mistake.

"I never should've left the Vikings. I f--ked up," he wrote. "What I tweeted was wrong. The Vikings organization took great care of me through my ups and downs and I disrespected a lot of people."

Drama aside, Griffen was a stalwart along Minnesota's defensive line for his first decade with the team.

The 2017 second-team All-Pro selection recorded 355 total tackles, 176 quarterback hits, 74.5 sacks, 16 passes defended and nine forced fumbles across 147 appearances for the Vikings.

He remained productive in 2020, tallying 33 tackles and six sacks in 14 games (seven apiece for the Cowboys and Lions).

If Griffen rejoins the Vikes, he should slot back in as the team's starter at right defensive end opposite Danielle Hunter. The edge-rushing duo combined for 22.5 sacks in 2019.

Minnesota dropped to 28th in the NFL with 23 sacks in 2020. On top of Griffen's departure, Hunter missed the season with a neck injury, leaving the squad depleted at defensive end.

The Vikings kick off the regular season Sept. 12 when they visit Paul Brown Stadium to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

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