Evaluating the Vikings 2020 offseason gambles at the bye

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

Not re-signing Griffen

When Everson Griffen opted out of his contract back in the Spring of 2020, many assumed he’d end up resigning with the Vikings. Even head coach Mike Zimmer expressed confidence that the longtime Vikings pass rusher would return.

Apparently, the team attempted to negotiate a new contract with him but were unable to come to terms. Griffen then said his goodbyes to the team and fans of Minnesota, and eventually signed with Dallas. The Vikings seemed more than content to move on with Danielle Hunter and Ifeadi Odenigbo as the starters. The initial gamble was the depth behind those two, as there was nothing but rookies and crusty veterans who haven’t exactly set the NFL on fire during their careers.

The Vikings couldn’t have foreseen the injury that was to come to Danielle Hunter, forcing him to be placed on I.R. and likely missing the entire season. This unfortunate turn led to the Vikings trading for Yannick Ngakoue and caused them to lose a second-round pick in the process. Fast forward a few weeks and even with Ngakoue’s five sacks, the Vikings’ pass rush has been anemic and Odenigbo has struggled to match last season’s production.

If the Vikings would’ve been more persistent in keeping their long time pass rusher in house, and not gambling on youth and nondescript veterans for depth, they may still be in possession of their second-round choice. Griffen could’ve started opposite Odenigbo and while he would’ve been a downgrade from Ngakoue, the team’s victory total would likely be the same.