Everson Griffen is seeing his name being brought up as a possible cap casualty as the Minnesota Vikings look for ways to free up salary cap space for the 2019 offseason. Those rumors are not unfounded, as it appears the front office is drawing a bit of a line in the sand about the future of the veteran defensive end.
Multiple media reports on Tuesday have stated that the Vikings have submitted an offer to restructure his deal in the aftermath of the Anthony Barr contract, which is set to pay the linebacker $13.5 million per season. ESPN's Courtney Cronin gives a detailed explanation below.
"It's been quiet on the Everson Griffen front (on Tuesday), but that doesn't mean there isn't work going on behind the scenes. I'm told that Griffen and his representation have been approached with the terms of a restructure from the Vikings and that the defensive end has expressed a desire to remain in Minnesota, but doing so will probably have to come via different terms than the way his contract is currently structured with $10.9 million of his base salary set to become fully guaranteed on Friday. As of right now, the ball is in Griffen's court as to whether he wants to accept the new terms the Vikings laid forth or aim to continue his career elsewhere. It's possible that these talks could continue on past the 3 p.m. start of the new league year on Wednesday. Theoretically, the Vikings could structure Anthony Barr's new deal to fit under the cap in 2019 to buy them time to work through talks with Griffen, but in the end, whether the DE takes a restructure is likely going to determine his future in Minnesota."
Griffen, a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is entering his 10th season in the NFL, all with the Vikings. During that time, he has racked up 66.5 career sacks in 73 career starts (132 games played). However, last season was a bit of a struggle for the veteran pass rusher, as he missed five games to tend to a mental health issue and posted his lowest sack total since the 2013 season with 5.5 sacks on the year.
He signed a contract extension with the team during training camp in 2017 that came in at four-years, $58 million through the 2022 season. Should the Vikings decide to release or trade him, it would free up $10.5 million in cap room with a dead cap hit of $1.2 million.