Everson Griffen in a “good place” and back to being himself

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Everson Griffen knows one thing for certain: “When I’m me, when I’m myself, I can play well,” Griffen said Tuesday, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.

The Vikings defensive end made 13 sacks and a third consecutive Pro Bowl in 2017. He dealt with mental health issues in 2018, keeping him out five games, and finished with only 5.5 sacks.

Griffen opened up about his personal issues, saying he’s in a good place after a “rough year” that included hospitalization over concerns about his well-being.

“It’s a progression each and every day,” Griffen said. “I’m taking it day by day, staying consistent with my life outside of football with those matters and stuff like that, and I’m happy. I’m happy. Am I back to myself? Yeah, I’m back to smiling, joking, that fun guy to be around, but I truly have an understanding of the things that I have to hold myself accountable with day in and day out. That’s what I took upon myself this offseason to handle and make sure I got a good handle on that to be able to come back with an open mind and ready to play football at a high level again.”

Griffen, 31, took a pay cut to stay in Minnesota. He called it a “tough pill to swallow” but wants to finish his career with the Vikings.