Everson Griffen Receiving Strong Interest, Cardinals Reportedly Involved
June is around the corner and Everson Griffen still doesn't know where he'll be playing in 2020. In a typical year, that would be shocking. But with the country shut down for the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's no surprise that Griffen is taking his time and staying patient with his free agency process.
Don't interpret Griffen's ongoing availability as a sign that there's minimal interest for his services. The longtime Vikings star remains without a team simply because he has been unable to take in-person visits at facilities around the country, according to Chad Graff of The Athletic.
Griffen, like many remaining free agents, wants to have in-person visits with teams before deciding where he’ll play. Of course, that hasn’t been an option for the last two months. But with teams slowly beginning to re-open facilities, his hope is that he’ll soon be able to visit different franchises and believes that when he does, there will still be a strong market for him.
I had initially wondered whether a lack of a deal by now would encourage him to take a discount to remain in Minnesota, but it sounds like there are still plenty of other options and he’s just waiting until he’ll be able to visit those teams.
On Friday, more evidence of strong league-wide interest in Griffen emerged. ESPN'S Jeremy Fowler reported that Griffen has had "strong interest from multiple teams," and named the Cardinals as a team that is believed to be involved.
Arizona would be an interesting fit for Griffen. The Cardinals have the most prolific pass-rusher in the NFL over the past four years in superstar Chandler Jones (19 sacks last year, 60 since 2016), but they could really use more depth at that position. They signed Devon Kennard (seven sacks last year) from the Lions this offseason, but Griffen would give them a player who can line up at outside linebacker or defensive end in their 3-4 defense.
The Seahawks have long been rumored to have interest in Griffen, who played for Seattle head coach Pete Carroll back in his college days at USC. Another thing that may be affecting Griffen's timetable is that fellow edge rusher and former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney also remains unsigned.
There's still the possibility that Griffen returns to Minnesota, but that seems unlikely if there are several teams interested in signing him. The Vikings don't have much cap space, and the money they do have may need to go to paying Dalvin Cook on a new deal. Ifeadi Odenigbo said this week that he has been preparing to take over as a three-down player for the Vikings with Griffen gone.
Griffen opted out of his contract with the Vikings back in March. The 2010 fourth-round pick has 74.5 sacks in his ten-year career.
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