On Friday, Everson Griffen took to Instagram to express gratitude and say his goodbyes to the Minnesota Vikings as he looks to move on to another team this offseason.
There has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Minnesota Vikings this offseason and the skepticism has increased even further with all of the moves made since the beginning of free agency earlier this week.
During the past few days, the Vikings have seen a number of notable players head out the door including Linval Joseph, Mackensie Alexander, Stefon Diggs, Trae Waynes, and Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota fans found out about another on Friday.
“While it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye, I leave Minnesota in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been and have many Pro Bowl seasons to come! Wherever my next stop is, I will always be grateful to and cheering for the Vikings. Thank you all for the love, support and memories.”
Griffen’s announcement is a bit of a surprise. But at the same time, it’s really not. Minnesota isn’t exactly swimming in cash right now and the veteran defensive end likely wants to land a deal that pays him what he is truly worth at this point in his career.
It’s still a bit odd though considering how much the Vikings have expressed their desire to bring him back this year and Griffen supposedly had the same interest in returning. However, a new contract is something that obviously could not be worked out between the two parties and now the talented pass rusher will look for a new team to suit up for in 2020.
After Minnesota selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Griffen began his career with the franchise as a situational pass rusher and a contributor on special teams. He was then given a chance to be one of the Vikings’ starting defensive ends in 2014 and it is a decision the team will never regret making.
During the last six years as a starter on Minnesota’s defense, Griffen was able to accumulate a total of 57 sacks and emerge as one of the top pass rushers in the entire NFL.
He is one of the players who has come to define everything the Vikings have been about since Mike Zimmer was hired to be the team’s head coach in 2014. But now, Minnesota must try and figure out how to function without Griffen as a member of their roster for the first time since 2009.