Everson Griffen remains with Vikings after contract restructure

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Everson Griffen
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Everson Griffen /

With just minutes remaining until Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen’s 2019 contract salary was to be guaranteed, the veteran agreed to shave that number down to a more cap-friendly number.

And the band played on.

The Minnesota Vikings front office and Everson Griffen agreed to a financial restructure of his contract on Thursday, enabling team some some sorely needed “wiggle room” on their salary cap.

Griffen, a Pro Bowl player for the Vikings from 2014 to 2016, saw his time and effectiveness on the field suffer as he struggled with some off-the-field issues during the first months of the 2018 season. Some wondered how he would both respond physically and emotionally moving forward in his playing career.

Some were also curious about how Minnesota’s brass would treat him as a 31-year-old veteran with such dramatic question marks.

At least one of these questions was answered on Thursday. It was obvious that Griffen wanted to stay in Minnesota, and just as obvious that head coach Mike Zimmer and the Vikings administration wanted him in their locker room and on their playing field.

The veteran pass rusher will return to a unit that includes defensive tackle Linval Joseph and opposite defensive end and rising star Danielle Hunter, both of which helped Griffen lead Minnesota to becoming the NFL’s number one defense in 2017.

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Now that the Vikings have secured two very large pieces of their 2019 defensive squad (Griffen and Anthony Barr), they can turn their attention to players like cornerback Trae Waynes and safety Anthony Harris, both of which the Vikings must consider as part of their future, or variable to more changes in their team.