After years of former members of the Green Bay Packers have joined forces with the division rival Minnesota Vikings, the trend could finally change course. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Packers have expressed an interest in signing defensive end Everson Griffen. Apparently, the interest could be mutual.
Following a decade in Minnesota, Griffen opted out of his contract in February, making him a free agent. Griffen was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl in 2019 after a season in which he totaled 8.0 sacks, 41 tackles, and an interception. At 32 years of age, the belief is Griffen voided his Vikings deal in an attempt to aim for one last hefty contract. Some reports indicate he is looking for close to $14 million annually.
The financial side would be interesting for Green Bay who last offseason handed out considerable money to edge rushers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. The team is also trying to work out a deal with star defensive tackle Kenny Clark. Adding Griffen would further bolster one of the team’s strengths at pass rusher. Then there is Rashan Gary who was the team’s first-round pick in 2019.
It’s certainly an intriguing option while considering the creativity it would lend to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Za’darius Smith is comfortable playing at multiple alignments, and it’s entirely possible that Griffen could kick inside to be the three-tech next to Clark. Simultaneously, this might improve the run game after it was one of the Packers’ biggest weaknesses a season ago.
From a player standpoint, bringing in Griffen is quite intriguing. You can never have too many defensive linemen, and Griffen has proven he still has some juice left. However, the financial side makes this very tricky. Handing Griffen the amount of money he wants might complicate a future deal with Clark who is only 24 years old.
While it’s hard to deny how fun adding Griffen to the mix would be, it may not make sense for Green Bay who at the present time is strapped for cash and have needs elsewhere.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.