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Everson Griffen “comfortable, happy” after dealing with personal issues

Declares he wants to be a “Viking for life”

San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Last season didn’t go the way that Everson Griffen envisioned. After getting off to a solid start in the team’s first two games, Griffen missed five games following a string of incidents that led to the Minnesota Vikings telling him to stay away from the team until they decided he was ready. He eventually returned to the team, but didn’t look quite the same as he had in the past.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the second day of the team’s offseason program, Griffen addressed the media and acknowledged that he wasn’t the same player following the incident, but declared that he’s feeling much better and is ready to get back into form in 2019.

“When I’m myself, I can play well,” Griffen, making his first public comments since restructuring his deal, told reporters Tuesday. “I wasn’t myself (last season). If I was myself, I wouldn’t have to take a pay cut — if I was playing at the level I know I can play at each and every season. But I wasn’t.”

. . .

“I had a lot going on in my personal life,” Griffen said. “This was a big learning experience, and I dealt with some stuff. Now I’m comfortable, I’m happy, my family is happy, my kids are happy, and that’s what matters the most to me right now.”

When he’s on, Griffen still has everything that it takes to be a force at defensive end for the Vikings, something he’s displayed prominently since taking over for Jared Allen as the full-time starter at defensive end. It’s good to see that he’s back into the swing of things and feeling like he’s ready to play at the same level we’re used to seeing.

Kudos to the Vikings for sticking with Griffen, too. Sure, football is a business, but it seems like the team did right by Griffen when it came to his issues and making sure that he got himself right again. I think we’re all very much looking forward to seeing #97 chasing quarterbacks again in 2019.