With the NFL Combine underway, we’re getting some Vikings news thanks to the Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman press conferences. We’ll have a Rickspeak coming along in a little bit, but Mike Zimmer’s presser had some interesting news regarding free agency, specifically DE Everson Griffen and S Anthony Harris:
Zimmer on Everson Griffen: “We met with his agent yesterday, I think it was. Everson is a terrific person for us. I think our situation is the right one for him. We expect him to be back. I think he wants to be back and so those kind of things usually work its way out." #Vikings— Vikings Corner (@VikingsCorner) February 26, 2020
Griffen coming back is no guarantee, but I do agree with Zimmer’s comment. If you want the player back, and the player wants to be back, you’ve got more than half the battle won. If they do strike a deal, the numbers will be interesting, and how they affect the 2020 salary cap.
He also dropped what is potentially some serious foreshadowing about free agent S Anthony Harris:
Mike Zimmer on #Vikings UFA Anthony Harris, who tied NFL lead with six INTs in reg season:— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) February 26, 2020
"I love Anthony. If he doesn't come back, I think he's earned everything he's got, but if you put up the positions most important on defense it's probably not going to be safety."
Reading the quotes, it appears to me that that Harris isn’t the top priority to re-sign, and the Vikings are prepared to let him walk because they can’t afford him. Again, nothing is guaranteed here, but Zim’s language seems to indicate that if Harris does leave, they aren’t going to be surprised. And the way he spoke about the safety position in general makes it seem like they aren’t going to use the franchise or transition tag for Harris, either.
All of that said, nothing has been set in stone, the Combine is famous for deception and subterfuge, and anything can happen.
Let’s see how things work out.