Packers Rumors: Ex-Vikings DE Everson Griffen Draws Interest from Green Bay

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2020

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2020, file photo, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans. Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will become a free agent for the first time in his 11-year career. He's coming off a bounce-back season for the longest-tenured player on the team. Griffen has chosen to exercise his option to void the remaining three years on his contract, a person with knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File)
Brett Duke/Associated Press

Free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen and the Green Bay Packers reportedly have mutual interest, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Rapoport added that the Packers "were among the teams" to show interest and that his former coach, Minnesota Vikings head honcho Mike Zimmer, had expressed a desire to bring him back. 

"I'd love to have him back," Zimmer told Chris Tomasson of TwinCities.com over the weekend. "He's always been one of my guys. If that happens, it would be great. But I don't know where that's at right now."

Griffen kept open the possibility of a return to Minnesota in April:

If he went to the team's divisional rival in Green Bay, it would be a double whammy for the Vikings to lose a key pass-rusher and have to face him twice a year. The 32-year-old is a four-time Pro Bowler who posted 41 tackles, eight sacks and an interception in 2019. 

He's posted eight or more sacks six times in his career, all of which has been spent in Minneapolis after being drafted in the fourth round out of USC in 2010. 

The Packers had a solid pass rush in 2019, headlined by outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith (13.5 sacks) and Preston Smith (12 sacks). NFL teams can never have too many players capable of getting after the quarterback, however, and nicking Griffen from the Vikings would obviously sweeten the deal. 

Granted, other teams around the NFL might view Griffen as player worth targeting at this late stage in free agency and as a more affordable option to fellow free agent Jadeveon Clowney. That could help create a nice market for Griffen, even at this point in the summer with training camps about to begin. 

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