Everson Griffen Apologizes After Calling Out Vikings’ Kirk Cousins

Getty Everson Griffen

Former Minnesota Vikings star Everson Griffen may have just killed his chances of returning to the Vikings.

After advocating on social media all week to be re-signed by the team he spent the first 10 years of his career, earning four Pro Bowls in the process, Griffen, engaging with fans on Twitter, shared some reckless words about Kirk Cousins.

For a player hoping to be signed by a prospective team, taking shots at their quarterback — let alone a former teammate — is not a good look for the former Viking. Griffen first claimed he was hacked before coming clean and issuing an apology, while also standing by his sign-me slogan “if you want it, go get it,” It carried a duller tone than it rang earlier in the week.

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Griffen May be Right

Griffen’s tweets were out-of-line, however, they did reilluminate an ongoing tension in Minnesota’s locker room of whether coach Mike Zimmer truly wants Cousins on the team.

Zimmer has continually complimented the quarterback through his tenure with the Vikings as it may not be Cousins who is the issue, but the cost of his signing.

Minnesota, coming off its appearance in the 2017 NFC championship, boasted the league’s best defense under Zimmer and was in the market for a new quarterback.

Zimmer’s prognosis of how to address the position is telling of his thoughts on Cousins:

The thing that I told Rick (Spielman) was, when we sat down in meetings, I said, ‘look, we’ve won this many games in these many years because of this football team.’ Because we’ve played really good on defense for the most part. This year, obviously, we played so much better on offense and we were able to go further than what a lot of people thought we would. So it’s important that we continue to put the pieces in place on defense.

What I don’t want to do is say, ‘okay, (here) is this one thing – we’re going to do this and we’re going to take away from the rest of the things that have gotten us to this point.’ So that’s the other thing.

Rob Brzezinski, our cap guy, does an outstanding job of saying, ‘okay, if we do this, then we’re going to have to give up here. If we do this, then we’re going to have to do this. If we do this, we can add here or we can add there.’ So I think all of those things come into play.

What followed was Cousins’ three-year, $84 million deal with Minnesota. Two years later, the Vikings were up against the cap and again doubled down on Cousins, extending him this past offseason while the defense parted ways with five starters.

 Zimmer Will Need to Reboot His Defense

If Cousins plays through the rest of his contract, Minnesota will have invested $150 million over the past five years on the quarterback who has won one playoff game in three seasons so far.

There was speculation of whether Zimmer would sit Cousins after turnover issues early in 2020, a question that Zimmer bluntly struck down as the Vikings have no serviceable backups.

Minnesota will likely ride out Cousins contract for the next two seasons before addressing the position once again. In the meantime, Zimmer will have to make due and reshape his much like he did when he arrived back in 2014.


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.

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