Throughout the offseason, fans of the Minnesota Vikings have been holding out a little bit of hope that free agent defensive end Everson Griffen, who had spent his first ten NFL seasons with the Vikings, would come back to the team in time for the start of the 2020 season.
That dream is, apparently, over.
The #Cowboys are adding a big-time pass-rusher, signing former #Vikings DE Everson Griffen, sources tell me, @TomPelissero and @SlaterNFL. With Minnesota for a decade, Griffen now heads to Dallas. A surprise.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 13, 2020
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Griffen will be signing with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Vikings drafted Griffen in the fourth round (#100 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft after he finished his college career at Southern Cal. He played sparingly early on, but put himself on the map with a big three-sack performance against the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 regular season finale. He became the full-time starter at defensive end in 2014 after signing a big five-year, $42.5 million contract extension. The move turned out to be a pretty damn good one, as Griffen established himself as one of the league’s best pass rushers.
In his Vikings’ career, Griffen put up 74.5 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl four times (2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019). Those 74.5 sacks put Griffen at #4 on the Vikings’ “official” sack list behind John Randle (114), Chris Doleman (96.5), and Jared Allen (85.5).
(Yes, I know that there are a number of guys ahead of all of those players on the “unofficial” list, but sacks became an official stat in 1982.)
Everson Griffen has been a big part of the Vikings’ defense during the Mike Zimmer era, and it’s going to be very strange to see him with a star on the side of his helmet rather than a horn. Best of luck to #97 going forward. . .except, of course, for when he plays the Vikings.