Vikings Rumors: Everson Griffen is desperate to return to Minnesota

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

A recent batch of Minnesota Vikings rumors features some apparent interest from former defensive end Everson Griffen to return to the purple and gold.

Early July usually isn’t a time where Minnesota Vikings rumors are popping up at a frequent rate. However, a recent rumor featuring Everson Griffen should interest some Vikings fans.

With Danielle Hunter returning this year after missing all of last season with a neck injury, Minnesota already has one of their starting defensive end spots penciled in.

The question is, who will start opposite Hunter in 2021 on the Vikings defensive line? Well, it could be a very familiar face.

Griffen, who spent 10 years in purple before playing for the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions last season, apparently wants to return to his old home, according to KFAN’s Paul Allen on Thursday. Earlier this offseason, he expressed his interest to re-join Minnesota’s roster, but then he took some shots at Kirk Cousins and mentioned head coach Vikings Mike Zimmer never wanted the quarterback.

Vikings Rumors: Would bringing Everson Griffen back be the right decision for Minnesota?

In 14 games last season, Griffen had six sacks, which would have helped Minnesota’s struggling pass rush. He is no longer the same player that recorded 43.5 sacks from 2014 to 2017, but he could still help the Vikings on the field in 2021.

Second-year Minnesota defensive end D.J. Wonnum showed some flashes last season, but he may not be ready to start. Vikings rookie defensive ends Patrick Jones II and Janarius Robinson are obviously unproven right now. Maybe both of them or one of them could pan out. We just don’t know yet.

Griffen will turn 34 in December, but he knows Minnesota’s defensive system very well, and he likely won’t cost much. He could help on the field, but would bringing him back still be the right decision?

Given what he tweeted about Cousins earlier this year, his return could potentially cause issues in the Vikings locker room. The Minnesota quarterback and others might not endorse any decision to bring Griffen back. If Cousins also struggles in 2021, as he did during the beginning of last season, things could get very bad.

Despite all that, maybe the team would still welcome him back. The four-time Pro-Bowler is one of the best defensive players in Vikings history (74.5 sacks in 10 seasons with the organization) and he did a lot for their community off the field. He was also one of the most respected leaders on the team during his time with Minnesota.

Had he not made those comments about Cousins earlier this offseason, Griffen might already be back in the Vikings locker room. Allen also mentioned on Thursday that Griffen still has people in the organization on his side, but is Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman one of them? Even if he is, he might not think it is in the team’s best interest to re-sign the veteran defensive end.

If the Vikings do sign a defensive end, Justin Houston and Olivier Vernon would be better options. Both are younger and coming off better seasons, although Vernon is recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered in January.

Minnesota’s defense in 2021 should be vastly improved compared to last season and adding another pass rusher would help even more. Maybe the Vikings will just stick with what they have though.

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It will be very interesting to see what happens with Minnesota’s group of pass rushers before the start of the team’s training camp at the end of July.