One of the larger questions this off-season for the Minnesota Vikings has been what they’re going to do on their defensive line. After a season in which the entire defense had returned 10-of-11 starters in 2019, with that one starter being Shamar Stephen (who returned to the Vikings after a one-year switcharoo with Sheldon Richardson) the Vikings are now looking at:
– Two new starters at the cornerback position (and a third new starter at the nickel spot).
– 75% of their starting defensive line needing new starters.
– An even bigger need at the nose tackle spot after free agency signing Michael Pierce opting-out of the 2020 season and Pierce “replacement” PJ Hall failing his physical.
Especially after the Pierce/Hall debacle the hope was that the somehow still available former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen would sign with the team.
Typically a player like Griffen would be snapped up relatively early in free agency, even at 32 years of age. Griffen had spent a decade with the Vikings and amassed 74.5 sacks, including three seasons with double-digit sacks (2014, 2015 and 2017) and while he was rumored to be attached to a couple teams this off-season, nothing concrete has developed… Until now.
The #Cowboys are adding a big-time pass-rusher, signing former #Vikings DE Everson Griffen, sources tell me, @TomPelissero and @SlaterNFL. With Minnesota for a decade, Griffen now heads to Dallas. A surprise.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 13, 2020
A day after it was reported that the Vikings had offered Griffen a reportedly very small contract, Griffen reportedly has signed with the Dallas Cowboys. The fit makes sense as Griffen will reunite with the similarly and recently jettisoned former Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards.
Edwards had coached Griffen in Minny since 2014, which is not coincidentally the same year that Griffen won the starting job on the right side after Jared Allen joined the Bears.
With Griffen now off the table, the Vikings could eye former Texans/Seahawk defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney had a massively disappointing season in Seattle, with three regular season sacks and 1.5
sacks in the playoffs. Despite that, though, he is still considered WalterFootball.com’s best remaining free agent defensive end.
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