The Minnesota Vikings can check “Re-sign Brian Robison” off of their to-do list. The next order of business: get a deal done for Everson Griffen.
Apparently, the Vikings have begun extension negotiations and tabled an offer, but it wasn’t what Griffen was looking for.
Everson Griffen said #Vikings have offered him a new contract, but it “wasn’t in the ballpark.” Still talking about an extension.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) October 9, 2013
A 2010 fourth-round pick and one of the top up-and-coming defensive ends in the NFL, Griffen is in the middle of a contract year. The Vikings should be looking to lock down the explosive edge rusher soon in hopes of keeping him off the open market in 2014.
There is a significant chance, though, that the underappreciated defensive end is eager to test his value in free agency. Getting an extension in place in the next few weeks, though, will take that option off the table.
The Vikings will especially need Griffen next season with veteran Jared Allen unlikely to get a new deal. Allen, set to make over $14 million in 2013, is 31-years old and is on the decline after six seasons in Minnesota. Although he’s a fan favorite, the Vikings simply can’t afford to keep spending so much money on an aging pass rusher – especially with Griffen wasting away on the bench.
If the Vikings can find a way to lock down Griffen, they’d still boast one of the best defensive lines in the league – even without Allen. Robison is an underrated difference-maker, and Griffen could be a sack machine if his snap count rose significantly. 2013 first-rounder Sharrif Floyd is a promising young defensive tackle, and the Vikings might find a way to keep Pro Bowler Kevin Williams around for another year or two.
Either way, Griffen should be Minnesota’s top priority now that Robison is signed for the foreseeable future. The Vikings simply can’t afford to lose such a promising young player, and GM Rick Spielman knows that.
The two sides are talking, so expect a deal to get done soon.