EAGAN, Minn. – He doesn't need much introduction.
The Vikings have brought back longtime defensive end Everson Griffen, the team announced Monday.
Originally a fourth-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2010, Griffen played for Minnesota through 2019 before signing with the Cowboys in free agency. The four-time Pro Bowler started the 2020 campaign with Dallas and was traded to Detroit during the season.
Griffen totaled 355 tackles, 74.5 sacks, two interceptions, 190 quarterback hits and nine forced fumbles in his time in Minnesota. He added an additional 6.0 sacks last season, recording 2.5 for the Cowboys and 3.5 for the Lions.
Here are five things to remember about the Vikings (newest) returning defensive end.
1. Ranks in the Top 10
Griffen's 74.5 sacks in Purple rank seventh in Vikings history. The "Sack Daddy" needs 11.5 more QB takedowns to surpass Jared Allen's 85.5 and move into sixth place all time.
Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller has the most sacks in team history, even though his career wrapped before sacks became an official stat in 1982. Team stats have Eller with 130 sacks as a member of the Purple People Eaters. An assessment this summer by pro-football-reference.com of all NFL games since 1960 credited Eller with 130.5 while in Minnesota from 1964-78 and another 3.0 with Seattle in 1979.
2. Veteran Viking
Prior to leaving Minnesota in free agency, Griffen was the team's longest-tenured player.
His stretch of consecutive seasons with the Vikings was of course broken in 2020, but entering the 2021 campaign, Griffen has played more seasons for Minnesota than anyone else on the roster with 10, going on 11. The next-closest is safety Harrison Smith, a 2012 draft selection coming up on Year 10.
3. Cancer awareness advocate
Throughout his NFL career, Griffen has advocated for cancer awareness and has partnered with the American Cancer Society and a variety of NFL "Crucial Catch" events.
Griffen's mother-in-law, Rebecca Brandt, is a breast-cancer survivor and her story has been a personal motivation for Griffen's efforts.
4. Dad to 3
Griffen and his wife, Tiffany, have three sons: Greyson, Ellis and Sebastian.
Sebastian was born during pregame of the Vikings-Lions Thanksgiving Day game in 2017, and Griffen was able to watch the birth via FaceTime.
5. Loves being on the water
Griffen spends a lot of his free time on the water, whether boating with family or casting his fishing line into one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.
Griffen has participated in the past in Vikings Legend Brian Robison's "Reel 'Em In" fishing tournament to raise money for the community.