How Ifeadi Odenigbo can make Vikings forget about Everson Griffen

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo /

The case for Odenigbo

In March, former Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs tweeted, “It’s time for a new beginning.” Well, he got it. Moreover, a couple of new beginnings will take place for Minnesota in 2020.

The Vikings declined to bring back Everson Griffen this year, so now it’s time for the reign of Ifeadi Odenigbo at defensive end.

In his first semblance of real playing time last season, Odenigbo was an anarchist. He registered seven sacks while playing just 34 percent of Minnesota’s defensive snaps. This equates to a sacks-per-snap ratio of 1.9 percent.

Incredibly, that was better than Aaron Donald, Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, Joey Bosa, and T.J. Watt in 2019. Of course, most of those sack artists have revered reputations and prolonged sample sizes of consistency, but Odenigbo’s unforeseen productivity was a staggering surprise, nevertheless.

If one was to mirror the percentage of snaps that Griffen played in 2019 (77.8 percent) to that of Odenigbo, his final numbers would have looked more like 16 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 30 quarterback hits. Those stats are All-Pro caliber and should that come to fruition, the Vikings will emphatically subscribe to the Odenigbo era.

Yet, that’s the wildcard here. Is Odenigbo’s success in from 2019 transferrable to this year and the seasons to follow? But as ESPN’s Chris Berman says, “that’s why they play the games.”

Just as Odenigbo’s 2020 performance is a cliffhanger, his financial earnings are not. He will earn $750,000 this season. That’s almost the equivalent of one Griffen to 10 Odenigbos if assessed by Griffen’s reported max salary of $6 million in Dallas.