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Recapping an Everson Griffen trade rumor

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Let’s talk about this one

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Hi kids, how are you doing? Sorry I didn’t put out a mock draft last week and I’ve been incognito lately, especially with a lot of Vikings news and rumors out there, but I couldn’t put off shoulder surgery anymore. Had to get it done with enough time before my Canada fishing trip, or put it off again, which was something I just couldn’t delay anymore. Years of patting myself on the back for all my hot Vikings takes finally took enough of a toll, and I had to get it taken care of now.

Anyhoo, now that I have some limited mobility in my shoulder back, I can do some typing and get back in the saddle. Let’s talk about this Everson Griffen trade rumor that hit the street.

Yesterday afternoon this tweet hit the Internet, and a fair amount of people took it as a legit rumor:

For one, a lot of people put a lot of things on the Internet masked as a ‘developing story’, so I really don’t take this too seriously, and I didn’t think it was worth doing a post over. The problem is that KFAN picked it up, giving it credibility, when there has been no one that’s semi reliable to confirm this, at least that I’ve seen.

That said, something is going to have to give on Griff. Just prior to the NFL Combine starting, Ben Goessling mentioned the Vikings would like to re-structure his contract.

Griffen would not, apparently:

I’m not going to get into the minute details of his contract or the pros and cons of him resturning; Dan did a much better job of that than I could replicate, so go read that piece if you haven’t.

The bottom line in all of this is that the Vikings need cap space, and Griff’s contract is $10 million in low hanging fruit cap space. He’s not coming back at his full salary, so there are two options here:

Cut/trade him, or he comes back. For Griffen, he may not want to take a pay cut, but if he can’t get a better deal on the open market than what a re-structure offer would be from the Vikings, he’ll take it.

Money is money, after all.

As to a trade, I always default to this line of thinking if the player is a potential cap casualty, no matter who is involved: why would a team trade for a player if they know he’s going to be a free agent relatively soon? There just isn’t a big trade market out there, unless a player is in his prime and he has an expiring contract, like Khalil Mack last year, for example.

At one point Griff was that pIayer, but I don’t see a big trade market developing for a 30 year old DE who missed a lot of time with off the field issues last year. If I’m an NFL team and I need an experienced pass rushing DE, why would I give up a mid round draft pick (I’m assuming something anywhere between a 4 and a 6 is what the Vikings could fetch in a trade) for a guy I know I can freely negotiate with in a couple weeks? If I can sign him to a lower deal than his 2019 salary of $11.7 million without giving up a pick, I’m going to do that 14 times out of 5.

The Vikings have 10 days to decide what they’re going to do, as that’s when Griff’s 2019 contract becomes fully guaranteed. Unless there’s a GM who thinks he can’t get Griffen unless he gives up a pick for him, I just don’t see a trade as part of that decision.