The veteran defensive end has reportedly decided to void the rest of his current deal and the potential of not returning to the Minnesota Vikings is now very real.
In 2014, the Minnesota Vikings took a risk on Everson Griffen. Despite only having one start in his first four seasons with the Vikings, the team decided to give Griffen a five-year contract extension worth $42.5 million and make him one of their full-time starting defensive ends.
Thanks to Griffen taking advantage of his new opportunity as a starter, the decision has ended up working out very well for Minnesota. Since 2014, the talented pass rusher has earned four trips to the Pro Bowl and racked up a total of 57 sacks.
On Thursday, however, Griffen reportedly made a decision of his own that could result in his tenure with the Vikings coming to an end.
According to the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling, the veteran defensive end is voiding the rest of his current contract with Minnesota and he will now become a free agent.
With the move, the Vikings have freed up more than $13 million in salary cap space and they are now expected to at least begin the new league year with around $1.3 million in spending money. More roster decisions will likely be made during the next few weeks to free up additional cap space, but at least Minnesota is no longer over the projected 2020 salary cap.
Even though he is now set to hit free agency this offseason, it will be interesting to see if Griffen actually makes it to the new league year as a free agent or he signs a new deal with the Vikings before then.
Any new contract he signs likely isn’t going to pay him the almost $13 million he was set to make in 2020 with his previous deal. Something worth around $7 million per year seems more like a contract he could be offered this offseason by Minnesota or another team.
Will Griffen try to remain with the Vikings this year, a franchise he has played for during his entire NFL career? Or will he try and get the most money possible in free agency this offseason and land with a new team for 2020?