How Everson Griffen might actually end up back with the Vikings

(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Everson Griffen /

Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is among the current free agents that are still looking to find a team for next season.

Back in March, the Minnesota Vikings made the difficult decision to release longtime tight end, Kyle Rudolph. After the NFL settled on a reduced salary cap for 2021, letting go of Rudolph and his expensive cap hit for next season was a move that most anticipated from the Vikings.

But Minnesota made an interesting choice when they officially parted ways with the veteran tight end. The Vikings designated the transaction as a June 1 release, and in less than two weeks, they will get an additional $7.9 million to spend on their roster before the start of this summer’s training camp.

With this extra money, Minnesota could potentially look to add a veteran pass-rusher to their roster to compete with Stephen Weatherly for the other starting defensive end job opposite Danielle Hunter. When quickly glancing at the free-agent pass rushers that are currently still available, there’s not too much to get excited about. But there is one guy who could interest the Vikings more than others due to his previous experience with the team.

Former Minnesota Vikings defender Everson Griffen one of the top pass-rushers still available

The 2020 season was strange for multiple reasons. But it was especially strange to see Everson Griffen not suiting up in a Minnesota uniform last year for the first time in his NFL career.

After Griffen and the Vikings weren’t able to agree to a deal for him to return to the team in 2020, he wound up spending last season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys for seven games and then the Detroit Lions for another seven matchups.

Now 33-years-old, Griffen is back in the free agency pool, and he hasn’t hinted at plans to retire anytime soon. He’s part of the current free-agent defensive end group that also includes Justin Houston, Adrian Clayborn, Ezekiel Ansah, and Vic Beasley.

None of the other guys really feel like they would be a better option for Minnesota to bring in, especially since Griffen’s experience in the team’s defensive scheme gives him an advantage over just about any remaining free-agent pass-rusher.

So unless a surprise cut is made in the near future that frees up one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers, Griffen currently feels like one of the best options for the Vikings to consider if they’re looking to add another veteran to their defensive line.