Former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has signed with the Dallas Cowboys, ending a long offseason of uncertainty for the veteran star. The news was first reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapaport.
It's a one-year, $6 million deal, according to ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin, with $3 million in base salary and $3 million in roster bonuses.
The Vikings were heavily involved in discussions with Griffen recently, as were the Seattle Seahawks. Minnesota reportedly made a contract offer to Griffen, but it evidently didn't meet his demands.
"The Seahawks and Vikings went back and forth for Griffen, while the Cowboys quietly went to work," Rapaport tweeted. "Out of nowhere, they add a key cog in their defense."
This is a major pickup for the Cowboys and new head coach Mike McCarthy, who coached against Griffen for many years during his tenure in Green Bay. The ten-year veteran joins a Dallas pass rush that also features DeMarcus Lawrence and Gerald McCoy.
Back in March, Griffen opted out of his contract with the Vikings because they would've likely been forced to cut him for cap savings. Not long after, he announced that he wouldn't be returning to Minnesota in free agency. But with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting his ability to meet with teams, Griffen was without a job for longer than he may have expected.
The Vikings continued conversations with Griffen's camp, but nothing ever came to fruition. The Seahawks always made sense as a potential destination, given Seattle's need for a pass rusher and that Pete Carroll coached Griffen at USC. The Cardinals, Packers and other teams were also rumored to have interest in the 32 year-old.
Instead, the Cowboys have emerged and pounced on the chance to add a highly-productive veteran. Griffen played at a very high level last year, recording 35 pressures, 8.0 sacks, and an interception. He'll add a lot to the Cowboys not just on the field, but as an emotional leader and an important figure in the community. Griffen will return to Minnesota and U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 11 (November 22nd).
Griffen was drafted by the Vikings with the 100th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Over a decade in Minnesota, he racked up 74.5 sacks, 176 QB hits, nine forced fumbles, and over 350 tackles. Griffen will go down as an all-time Vikings great.
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