Everson Griffen could be a cap casualty in Minnesota

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Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen still has four more years on his contract, but he may be gone from Minnesota soon.

Griffen has an $11.7 million cap hit this season, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune pegs Griffen as a possible cap casualty for the Vikings, who are among the NFL’s most cap-strapped teams.

It’s easy to see why the Vikings wouldn’t want to pay the 31-year-old Griffen that much, considering that they have a good young defensive end in Danielle Hunter, and another young defensive end who has shown promise in Stephen Weatherly.

Griffen’s salary becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on March 15, so there will be some certainty about Griffen’s status reasonably soon. It won’t be surprising if Griffen ends up hitting free agency — and struggling to find a team willing to pay him more than $11 million this year.

42 responses to “Everson Griffen could be a cap casualty in Minnesota

  1. The key would be what another team is willing to pay. It would be an option to renegotiate his contract but pass rushers almost always command big money. Sadly I suspect other teams will pay him more than the Vikes would like to renegotiate to. It’s hard to say what the value is of the leadership and energy he brings to the team, but the way the defense came out totally flat several times last year, maybe there’s a message there too.

  2. Plus, they’re going to need money to pay Adam Thielen. He’s a top 5 receiver being paid the 43rd best average annual salary; he gets paid just a bit more than Cameron Meredith and he produces better than his teammate Diggs, who gets paid nearly triple the money that Thielen makes. He’ll be 31 when he’s eligible for his next contract so his best option is to hold out until the Vikings pay him something in line with his production.

    Home grown or not, he’ll want to get paid what he’s worth, and his value will never be higher than it is now.

  3. jam11163 says:
    February 6, 2019 at 4:28 pm
    You can thank your greedy qb for eating up all the cap space. Good luck Minnesota

    People used to say the same thing about Aaron Rogers being the cause of the Packers losing quality players. Anytime one player takes up so much of your cap space, you are going to hear this.

  4. Crazy Vikings are in cap hell. Sooo happy jets avoided Kirk cousins at the time I wanted him but boy am I and every jets fan prolly so ecstatic that he is not our quarterback. But I’ll take griffin from you and some more defenders besides Barr that you will loose cuz ur overpaying Captain Kirk. Big mistake should have just rolled with Keemun again. Vikings completely ruined the team now. They will be lucky too reach playoffs again now

  5. The NFL is a business first. Griffen just doesn’t produce at a level that warrants a big contract. He might start playing like a Pro Bowl DE again. Problem is the Vikes need OL a lot more than they need DL depth. The other elephant in the room is that Everson battles mental health issues and unfortunately that is a factor.

  6. He hasn’t been the same player since he hurt his foot in London midway through last year. Part of that is probably due to the mental breakdown he suffered early this season. With that issue hanging over him and the diminished productivity, I wonder how much more another team would be willing to pay him and how much he might be willing to give up to stay in a familiar situation with teammates who love and support him. Maybe they can work something out that works for both sides.

  7. But wait, according to every Vikings fan they have plenty of cap space and everyone is paid through 2021. Cousins contract means nothing! Superbowl in on the horizon!

  8. Remmers will be the casualty, Griffen will take a pay cut. He’s got too much stuff going on outside of football to move to a new org, new city, new health care provider and start all over with fewer guarantees than he has in Minny.

  9. Man, that’s the business side of the NFL.

    At least he has all those championship memories to fall back on in his new place. Likely Jets.

  10. “they have plenty of cap space and everyone is paid through 2021. Cousins contract means nothing! Superbowl in on the horizon!”

    Said NO Viking Fan EVER at ANY time….

  11. If anyone thinks this is about Kirk’s contract, you are wrong. EG is 31 years old, missed time for mental health issues, and has been injury prone the past two seasons. Paying him $11 million would be stupid. He can restructure or walk. Weatherly is solid for a quarter of the price.

  12. We will probably lose Griffin and a couple other cap casualties and not be able to re-negotiate some other worthy players. If we just had another $ 28 million or so to spend on the deserving players, we would be set.

  13. I hope sack daddy takes a pay cut. This is just like a Jared allen all over again. But that’s the nature of the business.

  14. Man, Griffen has one bad season (mostly for personal reasons) and people forget he’s a 10 pass rusher. The Vikings are built to win now. They might just have to suck it up and pay him for next season if they want any shot at the Super Bowl next year.

  15. The cap hell comments are just plain lazy. Most every team with a QB that isn’t on a rookie contract will have a large QB cap hit — the issue is that teams that actually draft and develop decent pro bowl quality players pay out higher contracts and have to manage the cap. It’s the lousy teams that don’t draft and develop players well that have plenty of cap space and whose fans are delightfully chanting “cap hell” at other teams every 5 minutes.

    And Everson will likely take a reduction — the main problem is that in his absence, Weatherly excelled.

  16. Everson Griffen is the 6th highest paid defensive end in football. That is a lot for a Defensive End that only gave you 5.5 sacks and 33 tackles. For all defensive linemen he was not in the top 50 in sacks or tackles.

  17. He should suck it up and plan to play several years and contribute effectively, but at a rate of pay commensurate with his value to the team. That’s what AJ Hawk did and it worked. I respect him for it. I wish more “through-no-fault-of-their-own” overpaid veterans would consider doing the same thing. The Packers ultimately got their money’s worth out of him, and he had a productive and lucrative and healthy career.

  18. If they cut Everson before March 15th the Vikings save just over 10 million in cap space. Or they could re-negotiate the current contract. Either way the Vikings can’t pay him 10 plus million for 5.5 sacks. The Vikings could resign Barr for 10 million and let him rush from EG spot. He would get more than 5.5 sacks in a season.

  19. OMG! It has NOTHING to do with paying Cousins. It’s because they literally resign everyone that does well. The Vikings are paying Hunter, Rhodes, Diggs, Griffen, Reiff, Smith, Joseph, Waynes, Thielen, Rudolph, Kendricks, Remmers and Sendajo between 5 and 13 million. Expect Remmers and Sendajo to be cut in addition to possibly Griffen and maybe even Rudolph. That’s 28 million in savings plus 7 million we have in space now plus whatever the increase in the cap is which is usually 10 million every year. Who cares if Cousins is at 28 million, 16 QBs are at 20 million or more.

  20. purplepridepolysemy says:
    February 6, 2019 at 6:57 pm
    We will probably lose Griffin and a couple other cap casualties and not be able to re-negotiate some other worthy players. If we just had another $ 28 million or so to spend on the deserving players, we would be set.

    Who would the QB be? and at how much? Keenum? 24 million to franchise him and pretty much the same price to keep him multiple years, that leaves 4 million from what your talking about…..

  21. Would love to find a way to keep Griffen in Minnesota. At just a about a dozen pounds shy of 300 he would fly down the field on kickoffs in the early years. Truly an athletic super freak!

  22. Griffen was not the same after his mental breakdown. He returned to the team, but was flat. The fire and passion was gone. It remains to seen whether or not he can get get his edge back.

  23. Still with the Keenum VS Cousins comments. Its laughable. Keenum had a pretty decent team too…what was their record? Not that the Vikings did what was expected but Keenum had the stars align for one season. And we all know how that ended. So it was either the Vikes took a chance with him, or KC. One year didnt end with the story book all us Vikes fans hoped for. But we can only get better. Keenum however, came back to reality with a thud. Or other teams would have lined up for him…

  24. Another example on why Spielman is the not the GM God that Viking fans claim he is. But in reality, every team has an overpaid (vs. production) player on their team, he is just the most glaring example on the Vikings.

    It doesn’t take much to project that he will be cut. Then his choices are two; re-sign for a much lower amount or seek the Superbowl ring he would never get in Minnesota with a team of his own choosing. I’m guessing it’s the latter.

  25. Matthew Robinson says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:57 am

    OMG! It has NOTHING to do with paying Cousins. It’s because they literally resign everyone that does well.


    They “resigned everybody who does well” and signed the QB of their choosing. And won 8 games.

    Now they have little money, and are certain to lose one or both of Richardson or Barr. Zim’s last year.

  26. Cap casualty aside and the fact he’s been a great player for the Vikings for many years.

    He hasn’t been the same player since hurting his foot against Cleveland in Case Keenum’s Randal Cunningham embodiment season. EG multiple times yearly lining up off-sides or neutral zone infraction or just old fashion off-sides. Swings wide for the rush and takes himself out of plays quite often.

    For that alone he should be released. If they can restructure him, then do it.

    If they can’t then release him and use the money to sign a LG. Reif can still play left tackle. He hurt his foot at the beginning of last year and didn’t recover until the end of the season. He gave up zero sacks through 10 games the prior season. The Vikings need a Guard. 2 in fact and a new RT, and Center.

  27. Everson Griffen is at the end of his career. He currently is the 6th highest paid defensive linemen at 11 million. If one were to look at the data from all defensive linemen you would find that at the end of the 8th season in the NFL production begins to drop off sharply for 99 per cent of players. At 31 Everson would be entering his 9th season. Everson missed some of the season and only managed 33 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Defensive linemen have a quick development, long plateau and quick decline in their careers. Pay cut is the only way they should keep him. Move on to a younger player.

  28. Kirk doesn’t have anything to do with Griffen getting cut ~ As some have said a pay cut may be the fix ~ Others have said a trade for a 6th or 7th round pick even if he does take a pay cut~ It’s Griffen mental health issues that are the problem ~ Its sad but it true and its a shame if it does cost him his job ~ But its the same thing that happens to everyday working men and women also ~ Thankfully he has had years of earning millions of dollars if it is the end for him in the NFL ~ And it could be ~ Hopefully not ~

    Or he could stick and become a DE\3Teck moving inside on 3rd and long while backing up Hunter and Weatherly at DE ~ But the Vikings did draft a 3Tech in the 4th round last year in 6’5″ 290lb Jalyn Holmes who Zimmer seems to have been very happy with at years end ~ Nor do I doubt Andre Patterson ability to get a young mid-round DL up and running by year two as a part~time 3Teck ~ Plus the Vikings also have 6’3″ 320lb Jaleel Johnson who can play NT also if they want to move on from Griffen ~ Patterson also seems to really like 6’3″ 265lb Ifeadi Odenigbo at the 3Teck ~ So who knows ~

    This is one of the best times of the year for football fans ~ So much to talk about and so little is known ~ Its the Best Guess time of the year ~ Even for the sports media people who get paid to bring all of this up without the Vikings ever saying a word about Griffen ~ Could they be right ~ Oh heck yeah ~ But just as easily as they could be wrong ~ But still its lots of fun just as long as you keep your heart out of the talks ~

  29. packertruth says:
    February 7, 2019 at 2:01 pm
    Matthew Robinson says:
    February 7, 2019 at 3:57 am

    OMG! It has NOTHING to do with paying Cousins. It’s because they literally resign everyone that does well.


    They “resigned everybody who does well” and signed the QB of their choosing. And won 8 games.
    Packers resigned their qb and allegedly revamped their D. They only won 6 and couldn’t bet the Vikings.

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