Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has been glued to his phone the past 48 hours, reposting, retweeting and sharing any mention of his return to the team that drafted him back a decade ago.
Griffen flourished with the Vikings and was coming off his fourth Pro Bowl appearance in five years in 2019 before he opted out of his contract last year due to the likelihood he would be cut after the Vikings sank themselves into “salary cap hell” after extending Kirk Cousins.
Griffen, who still lives in Minnesota, returned home this week and has been tirelessly campaigning to be re-signed. He spoke with Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson and gave Tomasson a message he wants delivered to the Vikings.
“You tell them, I said ‘If you want it, go get it. You can put that, ‘” Tomasson noted from their phone conversation on Thursday.
Later on Thursday, Griffen posted a video on Instagram of him visiting the Vikings training facility, per The Athletic’s Chad Graff. He was seen on his Instagram story with a Vikings trainer.
Everson Griffen, who has been re-posting requests on Instagram for him to re-join the Vikings, went to the team’s facility today, per his IG. pic.twitter.com/LxxGifFHdo
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) January 7, 2021
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Griffen Reportedly Turned Down Offer From Vikings
An emotional leader and fan favorite, Griffen remained in contact with general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer through last offseason and had reportedly received a “competitive offer” during free agency, per Darren Wolfson.
There have been no details as to why Griffen turned down the offer from Minnesota, although it was likely the Cowboys presented the better offer.
Griffen’s time away from the Vikings was productive. He produced six sacks last season playing in two different defensive schemes, which would have been a team-lead for the Vikings.
Vikings Forced Griffen’s Hand, But Still Hold Him in High Regard
Griffen’s last contract in Minnesota showed how much the Vikings value his presence. The player-controlled option to void a contract is a deal that only two players in the league had at the time.
He surpassed benchmarks in 2019 that allowed him the option to opt out of his contract as the Vikings would have struggled to keep him under his $13.9 million cap hit for the 2020 season. Minnesota saved $13 million with Griffen leaving, which gave room to re-sign Dalvin Cook in the offseason.
The Lions are still jockeying with hiring a new head coach and general manager, meanwhile, Griffen has received and reciprocated a bounty of sentiments that he should return to Minnesota.
After adamantly saying he’d like to be a Viking for life, Griffen appears to be returning to the possibility of wearing purple and gold again.
Whether the two parties can make a deal remains to be seen amid other high priorities in the offseason that could include the need to re-sign Danielle Hunter, who has already outperformed his current contract.
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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.