For quite some time now, the word has been that Everson Griffen wanted big money. It’s likely the reason why a deal between the defensive end and the Minnesota Vikings wasn’t struck until now. But after months of speculation, it’s official — Griffen has re-upped for five years and $42.5 million. Of that whopping amount of money, about $20 million is guaranteed.
Many across the league are surprised by this deal. Why? Simply because Griffen has only started one game over the last four years.
When it comes to the 26-year old, it’s all about potential. But as the saying goes, pay someone for what they’re going to do, not for what they’ve done. That’s the exact philosophy the Vikings are using here. They’ve got a guy in Griffen with all the physical tools to be an absolute beast coming off the right DE spot. Has he done anything in his career so far to earn a $42 million deal? No. But that’s the gamble.
The Vikings are a team that’s becoming more and more about betting in-house. That’s ultimately what this deal means — Minnesota was more comfortable shelling out big money to a guy they know, rather than to gamble on an out-of-house free agent DE.
Now fans will just have to sit back and hope that Griffen is the kind of guy who likes to earn his money. Some players get their huge deal and proceed to mail it in. The 26-year old doesn’t seem like he’s the kind of guy who would become complacent, but you never know. Regardless, the Vikings were content with betting in-house, which will turn out to be a good or really bad thing.
If Griffen breaks out in 2014, we’ll look back a year from now and say what a great deal this was. If he fails to impress, then it will be clear that the Vikings have problems from the top down.