1. Everson Griffen, defensive end
- 2020 cap hit: $13,868,750
- Dead cap: $800,000
- Potential 2020 savings: $13,068,750
The situation with Everson Griffen is different from every other player on this list. Instead of having to release him and deal with salary cap penalties or future years, there is actually a player option on the contract to stay with the Vikings or leave with nearly no repercussions.
Financially, it would make sense for Griffen to want to stay with Minnesota. His salaries over the next three seasons would place him among the top ten highest salaries in the league and put him back in a familiar role with a team that supports him.
However, the Vikings have talented people who could fill the role. The Vikings could bring back Stephen Weatherly for much cheaper or roll with someone like Ifeadi Odenigbo in his place. Plus, the team seems to have success drafting pass rushers, so that could be an option as well.
Any decision to let Griffen go would be completely financial. While it would make sense to free up such a large amount of salary cap to keep players at other positions, the team has to value what the defensive end brings to the game each week.
What to do with Everson Griffen will likely be one of the toughest decisions the Minnesota Vikings have to make this offseason. Losing one of the team’s excellent defensive ends would be tough, but the NFL is a business and sometimes hard decisions have to be made.