Everson Griffen says he wants, ‘to be a Viking for life’

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

The veteran Minnesota Vikings defensive end spoke to the local Twin Cities media on Tuesday and expressed his happiness to be back for 2019.

Back in 2014, the Minnesota Vikings took a chance on Everson Griffen. Despite starting just one game during his first four seasons with the Vikings, Griffen was given a five-year, $42.5 million contract to stay in purple and be one of the team’s two starting defensive ends.

It was a gamble, but it was definitely one that ended up paying off for Minnesota. Since moving Griffen into the starting lineup in 2014, he has developed into one of the NFL’s top pass rushers and one of the best defensive ends to ever play for the Vikings.

Heading into this offseason, however, there were some doubts surrounding Griffen’s future in Minnesota. He was coming off a disappointing campaign in 2018 and his cap hit for 2019 was scheduled to be more than $10 million.

In the end, Griffen and the Vikings were able to agree to a restructured deal that lowered his cap hit for next season by more than $3 million. The veteran defensive end obviously didn’t want to take a pay cut, but he was willing to do so if it meant he would get to remain with Minnesota for another year.

Griffen elaborated on his decision to take less money in 2019 to stay with the Vikings when he spoke with the local Twin Cities media on Tuesday.

"“With me, it was bigger than football. I took it upon myself and my family to make the right decision to stay (in Minnesota) because I want to be a Viking for life. It’s rewarding because I know the people here love me and they have my best interest in mind. I just wanted to come back here and finish what I started.”"

The veteran pass rusher also admitted that he, “didn’t play that well,” last season and that he expected the Vikings to approach him about taking a pay cut this year. At the same time, Griffen did also say that agreeing to take less money was, “a hard pill to swallow.”

He mentioned that him having to take time off last season to attend to his mental health certainly played a big part in his disappointing performance last season.

Must Read. The 30 greatest Vikings players of all-time. light

Griffen is entering his 10th year in Minnesota and everyone is hoping he can get back to playing like the ferocious, pass rushing monster that earned three-straight Pro Bowl appearances from 2015 to 2017.