Free agency frenzy is in full force, as the NFL's 2014 League Year commences at 3:00 p.m. CT on Tuesday. But even before the official start of the new league year, NFL teams and players were able to do deals. One of those deals was between the Vikings and defensive end Everson Griffen.
After watching Griffen the past four seasons, most Vikings will be excited to keep No. 97 in purple. But as we know, not everyone will be pleased with every move. There will be some who question the Vikings decision to give such a lucrative deal to Griffen, who has just one start in those four seasons. Only time will tell which side is right…for now all we can do is pick a side and debate.
I'll take the side of those who are excited to have Griffin in the fold for the foreseeable future.
So why is Griffen deserving of such a rich deal? It's because the Vikings, wisely, don't treat free agency as a "What have you done for me lately?" proposition. Rather, the Vikings have taken a "What can you do for me going forward?" approach.
While on one hand it may seem like a lot of money to give a player with just one start, let's also keep in mind that wise teams pay players for what they can do in the future, not what they've done in the past. When you look at Griffen's profile, he's a 26 year old defensive end who is entering the prime of his career and found a way to collect 17.5 sacks over his first four seasons despite playing behind Jared Allen and Brian Robison. He was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 2010, and the organization has spent a lot of effort and time developing him and turning him into one of the better defensive ends who was scheduled to go on the market. In addition, Griffen was set to enter the market in prime position because the top players were all signing lucrative deals elsewhere, which is what set the market for Griffen's deal.
Ultimately, the new contract between the Vikings and Griffen represents, in my eyes, a wise investment by the Vikings and a great opportunity for Griffen, who could very well flourish under new Head Coach Mike Zimmer's scheme.
Hopefully both sides will be able to cash in.