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Grade The Signing: Everson Griffen

The sudden increase in the league-wide salary cap has resulted in a number of startling contracts through two days of free agency, but one has to keep in mind that the pot of gold has increased quite a bit, but NFL rosters have stayed the same size.  It only makes sense that contracts handed out today will be larger than their three year old equivalents.

Anyways, one of those contracts that might have prompted a few audible gasps was the one the Vikings handed out to defensive end Everson Griffen.  The initial numbers reported included a five year duration, $42.5 million total salary, with $19.8 million guaranteed.  These numbers seem steep for a relatively unproven commodity, but the Vikings claimed they are paying for the future, not the past.

They did, however, build in a little insurance.  By guaranteeing the first two years of salary, along with his $6 million in signing bonus, the Vikings can cut ties with Griffen after two seasons with minimal cap exposure.  The mainstream media has picked on the re-signing a little bit, mainly because Griffen officially only has one career start, but that stat is very misleading as his snap count and in-game impact has exceeded the expectations of most backups.

After the signing, word emerged that the Denver Broncos had been in contact with Griffen’s camp, and were prepared to offer him a contract in the neighborhood of $9 million per year.  Like the Bears did with Phil Loadholt last year, the competitive pressure may have forced the Vikings to quickly up the ante, but that’s the risk you run when you don’t lock up your own players sooner rather than later.

The defensive end market is pretty deep right now.  Who would have thought we’d ever see Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, and DeMarcus Ware all unemployed at the same time?  Still, I think the Vikings got one of the better speed rushers available, and he’s about the youngest option that was available.  With plenty of run stopping ends still available for cheap, and a need to build off of youth, I think Spielman made a decent call here as long as Griffen keeps himself out of trouble.

Adam’s Grade:  B

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. i gave it a C because it’s a bet on the future and i don’t have a crystal ball. he’s got the potential, but that’s almost a curse word in pro sports. i like the deal because even if he does poorly this first year, he’d get a mulligan and they’d keep him and still want to see if he can improve next year, and then if he didn’t improve we could dump him and move on. when a team signs their own guy in a ‘futures’ deal like this, i think it’s a safer move because they’ve been with the dude for years, developing him, seen him at practices, and know him thoroughly. nobody has the inside knowledge on him like us, and we should have the confidence in ourselves to sign him if we think he’ll pan out. in 8 months he could be an A or a B

    generally, i’m very happy we’re giving the D-line the attention that we are. of course, if we had signed a top CB, we’d be hootin and hollerin about that. to rationalize our decisions is what people do

    i’ve felt that we could have a top QB fall in our lap on May 8th, and looking around tonight, i still feel like that’s a distinct possibility

    1. Cal, Griffen has played over 1300 snaps. It is not like they were paying a rookie. Griffen graded out as a very good DE last year. Last year I wanted more of Griffen and less of Allen.

  2. There is a very good interview with him on the the Vikings homepage. It sounds like he gets it and sounds like he is going to step it up a notch or two. Not saying he will, but at least he is saying the right things.

  3. I would be really nice if we can sign Munnerlyn. Melton not so sure of. Sounds like he has a little baggage with him, but maybe we can get him cheap.

  4. Options J Allen, D Ware, M Johnson, E Griffen – Answer pay Everon Griffen Not as proven but developed by program and ascending vs players who have a decade of performance but are on the way down. Some risk but more value than the Dan Snyder pay a guy for last name and last decade mentality. Builds trust in the locker room also.