Report: Vikings attempted to trade Everson Griffen to the Browns

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

In an effort to increase the talent level of their offensive line, the Minnesota Vikings apparently tried to trade their veteran pass rusher to the Cleveland Browns earlier this offseason.

Heading into the 2019 offseason, there were some who believed that Everson Griffen had already played his last snap in a Minnesota Vikings uniform.

Griffen had a large cap hit for 2019 looming and he was coming off of one of the least productive seasons of his NFL career. So the defensive end playing elsewhere in 2019 began to actually seem like a legit possibility.

Griffen will be sticking around with the Vikings for at least another season though after the two sides recently agreed to a restructured deal. But the new terms of his contract apparently came after Minnesota attempted to trade the veteran pass rusher to the Cleveland Browns earlier in the offseason.

According to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer on Wednesday, the Vikings wanted to acquire Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler and Minnesota was using Griffen as part of the trade package they were offering.

Cleveland eventually decided to send Zeitler packing, but not to the Vikings. Instead, the Browns traded the offensive guard and a 2019 fifth-round draft pick to the New York Giants in exchange for pass rusher Olivier Vernon and a 2019 fourth-round selection.

Vernon is three years younger than Griffen and this likely played a big part in Cleveland not taking Minnesota up on whatever they were offering for Zeitler.

It certainly is interesting to find out that the Vikings were at least trying to make a big move to improve their offensive line. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for Minnesota and they are left hoping that a new offensive line coach in Rick Dennison and some underwhelming new additions will still give the unit a good chance to perform better in 2019.

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The news of the Vikings attempting to trade Griffen doesn’t seem to bode well for his future with the team though. It’s very possible that the upcoming season could be the defensive end’s last in Minnesota if he doesn’t get back to performing at a high level again.