Report: Vikings tried to trade Everson Griffen for Kevin Zeitler

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The Vikings knew they needed to upgrade their offensive line, and tried to make a big deal.

At least, until someone else made another one.

Writers Andrew Krammer and Ben Goessling said during a Minneapolis Star Tribune podcast that the Vikings were hoping to turn defensive end Everson Griffen into Browns guard Kevin Zeitler, until the Browns folded him into the bigger deal with the Giants that netted Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham Jr.

“With Everson Griffen, you brought him up, I had heard this offseason that they tried to go after Kevin Zeitler with Everson Griffen, and that’s around the same time that the Giants decided to offer up, and probably for a while had been talking about giving up Olivier Vernon,” Krammer said. “So that was a defensive end for a guard swap that the Vikings were well-positioned to make, but couldn’t. But if you’re the Vikings, that would have been a steal. I have heard they tried to do that, but it fell apart when the Browns decided to send him to New York.”

Like the Vernon deal, trading Griffen for Zeitler would have been a swap of big contracts.

Griffen has since restructured his deal with the Vikings, but it’s interesting that they were trying to move him, after he missed five games last year for personal reasons and had just 5.5 sacks.

The Vikings eventually signed former Titans and Patriots guard Josh Kline, though that’s not the same level of upgrade Zeitler would have been.

13 responses to “Report: Vikings tried to trade Everson Griffen for Kevin Zeitler

  1. He remains a good piece to use if the Vikings want to move up in the draft to Target a high end OL. DE is one of the deeper positions on this team so clearing his cap space and adding a top OL would be a win

  2. Either they plan to draft a defensive end high, or else they have confidence in the people behind him. It sounds like it would have been a very good deal for the Vikings as long as they could replace Griffin. Fill a huge need with a quality player and save some money too. Alexander’s suspension makes it hard to trade a corner back before the draft. That doesn’t leave many people that we can trade without creating a new hole. Maybe Rudolph? But that creates a new need and we have failed at every attempt to draft a replacement. One of the websites says we no longer have enough cap space to sign our draft picks. Somebody is leaving and it won’t be Cousins. So who ?

  3. That’s crazy! (the deal, not Griffen, well he might be but we aren’t privy to his medical records)

    The Browns were about to make a bad trade and the Giants stepped in and made it a good trade. Too bad for the Vikings, a Superbowl will have to wait yet another year.

  4. I Wouldn’t be too surprised to see a deal close to this emerge with Everson as camp gets close.

  5. Griffen could be gone dearing the draft or before the season when teams need to fill a need ~ He is still a good player but either the Vikings have young guys stepping up or they will draft someone in the first 2 rounds if they feel the need to just move on ~ It happens to ever team and every player ~ The time always come ~Sometimes we are ready and sometimes we are not~

  6. The Vikings are going to have to move someone before signing their draft picks, and Griffen would have been a good move. Between Weatherly and Bower, there is plenty high quality (young) depth behind Griffen. It’s too bad this didn’t happen; Zeitler would have been a huge upgrade over Kline.

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