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Griffen knows the Vikings expect him to step up

Griffen Getty Images

Sure, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has started one game in his career.  But that actually makes his 17 sacks in the last three seasons (13.5 in the last two) even more impressive.

It was impressive enough to get him a top-of-the-market haul on a five-year deal.  And now that he’s looking at $42.5 million, he’s ready to strive for a new level.

“They’re holding me up to a higher expectation. They knew what I could do when they drafted me here in 2010, and now it’s time for me to go out there and blossom with this team, with all of my boys,” Griffen said Tuesday on a media conference call, via the Associated Press.  “It’s time to go out there and celebrate on the field every single play, every single down.  It means the world to me.  It just means they trust in me.”

Despite thriving under Leslie Frazier, Griffen is unfazed by the coaching change.

“I haven’t even touched the surface of what I can do,” Griffen said. “I’m ready to work. I’m ready to listen. I’m going to absorb all of this knowledge that Coach Zimmer is going to give me. . . .  He’s going to pull the most out of you.  He’s going to find what you’re made of.  He’s going to make sure that he gets the best out of this team.  I just feel with his mastermind skills and what he brings to the table, he’s going to use not just me, he’s going to use every single player on the team the right way.”

Some will continue to be skeptical about the decision to pay a  somewhat unproven player so much money.  Because he never actually hit the market, it’s hard to know what another team (perhaps Frazier’s Buccaneers) would have paid.  Still, the decision to reward Griffen sends a strong message to the rest of the young players in the locker room — do what’s expected of you, perform well, and you won’t have to leave to get paid.

With the addition of former Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph and the presence of defensive end Brian Robison and 2013 first-rounder Sharrif Floyd, who knows?  It could be time for a new generation of the Purple People Eaters.

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34 Responses to “Griffen knows the Vikings expect him to step up”
  1. elwaysagenius says: Mar 12, 2014 8:56 AM

    And we know that he won’t step up

  2. valhallavictory says: Mar 12, 2014 8:58 AM

    The kid has come a long way.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 12, 2014 9:00 AM

    Excellent viewpoint Griffen, and hey it doesn’t matter anyhow cause if you end up really sucking then you are guaranteed to get paid a lot more than you are actually worth. So don’t worry about too much now and sit back relax and give it a shot and see if it works out. If it does then you can get even more money later, if not then that’s the Vikings problem. You have no way to lose now and all the pressure is off. Well done.

  4. reesesteel23 says: Mar 12, 2014 9:04 AM

    He will lead the league in sacks. Dude is the truth.

  5. Norseman says: Mar 12, 2014 9:08 AM

    Griffen is a first-rate talent who has matured a lot over his first few years in the league.

    Like Jared Allen before him, he’s ready to thrive at the RDE position, with Allen’s level of production.

  6. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 12, 2014 9:09 AM

    Well he kinda sorta DID hit the market, though, because they signed him during this weird “legal tampering” period. Paul Allen from KFAN had a good piece on this, and he speculated that the Vikes had talked to Michael Johnson’s people and they probably knew he wasn’t going to come to Minnesota, and they probably knew that at least one other team was going to make a serious offer to Griffen once free agency officially started, and it forced their hand.

  7. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 12, 2014 9:10 AM

    Oh, and their new nickname should be “The Berserker Brothers”

  8. 4allintensivepurposes says: Mar 12, 2014 9:14 AM

    “Oh, hey, real quick. Before you sign this, you promise to step up, right?”

  9. fwippel says: Mar 12, 2014 9:30 AM

    As a Viking fan, I was glad to see the team step up and sign him for the long-term. Griffen hasn’t been a starter to this point because of Jared Allen and Brian Robison. He’ll be expected to produce with full-time numbers, and I think he will.

    He’s also got to love the fact that the Vikings just signed their first genuine Nose Tackle since Pat Williams.

    The Vikings may regret letting Jared Allen go, but it wasn’t Griffen’s contract that led to Allen becoming “expendible”. Rather, it was the signing of Brian Robison to a long-term deal last year.

    Robison is older than Griffen, but younger than Allen, and I had hoped they’d keep Allen and Griffen and let Robison walk. Hopefully Robison will continue to improve his numbers. But right now, my money is on Griffen to have the better year in 2014.

  10. vikingdomination says: Mar 12, 2014 9:35 AM

    Griffen learned a lot backing up Jared Allen and will continue to develop under Zimmer. I can’t wait to watch this defensive line next season. The Purple People Eaters are back baby!

  11. purpleforroyaltygreenandgoldforbugars says: Mar 12, 2014 9:39 AM

    2 years ago this guy made plays every time he was in the game. Logic would have told you with Jared allen set to become a ufa that last year Griffens playing time only would have increased. I was a big Leslie Frazier guy, but I question his ability to evaluate talent. Failing to play this guy, patterson, and Rhodes more never made any sense at all. The decision to start Simpson and Robinson ahead of Rhodes and Patterson for 3/4 of the year was beyond awful!

  12. rbirving says: Mar 12, 2014 9:40 AM

    I love Jared Allen, but he’s closing in on becoming a situational pass rusher and old in the tooth. He won’t be worth the contract he wants and I suspect he’ll settle for a short term contract for a team he things has a good shot at a championship.

    Good luck Jared.

    The Vikings have turned an aging Dline into a young and talented Dline.. nice turn around for one off season. I still hope KWill comes back, he would be an excellent veteran presence to the rotation.

  13. arnoldziffel says: Mar 12, 2014 9:50 AM

    Well, if this guy doesn’t step up – maybe he has a future as a preacher. Good grief …

    But one thing is for sure – with that Viking offense – he’s going to be on the field A LOT!

  14. whatjusthapped says: Mar 12, 2014 9:50 AM

    He probably looked at Cassel, saw a guy who didn’t play all that well, historically hasn’t played well since leaving NE, then read in the newspapers that Cassel was given a big raise and thought, “Why not get in on this action?”

    If Speiladope is going to be giving big increases to those who have yet to perform, you can’t really blame the players for taking the money. But they should just take the money and shut up and not adopt the delusional rose colored glasses of the fan base which is forever predicting what the Vikings will do in the future when all they done in the past is finish in last place, again and again.

  15. shmadman says: Mar 12, 2014 9:51 AM

    Everything looks all good, but there’s nothing worse than Brian Robison on the other end. He is simply no good. Cut him and add Ware. Poing!

  16. jazz11001 says: Mar 12, 2014 9:51 AM

    That’s great but you still need a QB. Nothing matters until you have a QB.

  17. 13x Offseason World Champions says: Mar 12, 2014 9:56 AM

    This is like when they announced the signing of Visanthe Siancoe and said “…we think he can catch.”

    Turned out, he couldn’t.

  18. gbmickey says: Mar 12, 2014 10:11 AM

    The gift that keeps on giving. Pay all pro money to a player that has been in the league 4 years not 3 along with 1 start, yes I said 1 start. Has career yearly average of 20 tackles and 4 sacks. Why not make a career backup the highest paid DE thus far in free agency? If he had that type of talent any other team would have found a way to get him on the field all the time. Is there any wonder the Vikings are in the cellar? I guess considering the max exodus the Vikings have no choice to overpay.

    Let the dynasty of futility live on for another 53 years!

  19. bankst53 says: Mar 12, 2014 10:11 AM

    Everson Griffin should have started for Jared Allen last year, atleast the latter part of the season. I loved JA when he was in his prime but the man is washed up. From the beginning of the season when he said he’d be the first to walk out the door if they asked him to take a pay cut I started to lose faith in him. I wish him luck but I just don’t think he has much left in the tank.

  20. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 12, 2014 10:20 AM

    Visanthe Shiancoe only couldn’t catch for like the first year and a half. Then, mysteriously, he caught everything and was awesome. Go figure.

    Also, hindsight being 20/20, Griffen probably could have and should have started in place of Allen the last two seasons. This is sacrilege, I know. But Allen hasn’t been the same player the last two years. He’s finding out how other teams value him now, he might not find another team at the price he’s seeking, and may retire.

  21. toothfairyretributionmanifesto says: Mar 12, 2014 10:23 AM

    13x Offseason World Champions says:
    Mar 12, 2014 9:56 AM

    This is like when they announced the signing of Visanthe Siancoe and said “…we think he can catch.”

    Turned out, he couldn’t.
    _______________________________
    Visanthe Siancoe always played well in Minny. Those who don’t realize that either don’t know football or live in a trailer in Wisconsin

  22. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Mar 12, 2014 10:28 AM

    The Vikings may not be known for quarterbacks, but they probably have a better history of top-notch defensive linemen than any team in the league. This young defensive line has the potential to be pretty good, too.

  23. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 12, 2014 10:32 AM

    It’s time for the new breed of Viking defensive linemen to step up and embrace the suck.

  24. skolvikes28allday says: Mar 12, 2014 10:57 AM

    last 2 years 13.5 sacks as a back up

    thats all i have to say.

  25. banlarson says: Mar 12, 2014 11:58 AM

    I agree with rbirving, regardless of your view of Spielman, he has done about as good a job as could have been done in the past 3 years converting one of the oldest teams (Favre years) into one of the youngest all while infusing 5 1st round picks in 2 years that have all been hits. Their cap situation is one of the best in the league, so he has done it the right way. Yes he drafted Ponder, 3 years ago at 12, but every GM has picks that don’t pan out. Look at Ted Thomas of GB, half his top picks are flops, Spielman should be allowed 1. At least Ponder was better than Blaine Gabbert who just got traded to the 49ers for a 6th round pick and Gabbert was drafted ahead of Ponder.

  26. FlashPatterson says: Mar 12, 2014 12:07 PM

    purpleforroyaltygreenandgoldforbugars says:
    Mar 12, 2014 9:39 AM
    2 years ago this guy made plays every time he was in the game. Logic would have told you with Jared allen set to become a ufa that last year Griffens playing time only would have increased. I was a big Leslie Frazier guy, but I question his ability to evaluate talent. Failing to play this guy, patterson, and Rhodes more never made any sense at all. The decision to start Simpson and Robinson ahead of Rhodes and Patterson for 3/4 of the year was beyond awful!
    ——————————
    I don’t get how you can be a Leslie Frazier guy.. are you his cousin or something? Most of the fans could set a better lineup than he did. When you’re mathematically out of the playoffs, you start the young guys. If they suck you find out and you get a higher draft pick, if they are good then you have your future stars. Wideouts should’ve been Jennings, Wright and Patterson all year.

  27. themagicfanguy says: Mar 12, 2014 12:15 PM

    This how we know it’s the offseason, optimism in Minnesota.
    Fans already trying to come up with nicknames for this unproven, and so far mediocre, defensive line.
    Smh.

  28. vik3z says: Mar 12, 2014 12:58 PM

    most of the vikings fans on here are delusional, i have to say that…

    but for those that dont know, this deal will pay griffen a base of 7mill$ in 2014 and 2015, a total of 19mill$ over those first two years through incentives. after that he can be cut and the vikings dont owe him a dime.

    great structuring for team and player, if griffen produces it benefits the team and benefits himself financially.

  29. alaskasotan14 says: Mar 12, 2014 1:10 PM

    MN only had 3 less sacks than GB last year. And, GB actually gave up more total points. Face it Pack fans, the Vikings are making better depth on their team than GB, a dying franchise.

  30. shaggytoodle says: Mar 12, 2014 1:28 PM

    If by better depth you mean, there won’t be much difference between the starters and back ups you are right. Mostly, because the backs ups are as good as the starters.

    GB actually has talented to starters, so when someone gets hurt it actually makes an impact, but enough to stop them from making the playoffs last season.

  31. tyso4 says: Mar 12, 2014 1:31 PM

    Viking fans make me laugh.

  32. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 12, 2014 1:47 PM

    Saw someone on Fox saying that Denver was “offering” (during the tamper period) around $9mil per year, which forced the Vikings’ hand.

    Vikings d line nickname should be “Purple Pain”

  33. haraldsigurdson says: Mar 12, 2014 1:48 PM

    Denver was offering to Griffen, I should say

  34. lids1982 says: Mar 12, 2014 2:54 PM

    Good lord, sometimes I see other vikings fans and I scratch my head. We have no way of telling if this line is going to dominate. Not one clue. All of you clowns talking about Superbowl must be recent fans, the vikings have brought me nothing but heartbreak but I still love purple and gold.

    Stop making up names for the Defense, last year Stephen Hawkins could have caught a touchdown pass on our Secondary. This team isn’t going to magically get amazing overnight.

    Best qoute in any movie ever “I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tell ya… it feels phenomenal.”

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