Defensive end Everson Griffen says goodbye to Vikings

Defensive end Everson Griffen will be exploring free agency instead of re-signing with the Minnesota Vikings, his agent Brian Murphy announced Friday.

“We have broken off talks with Minnesota because they have to spend their money elsewhere and we decided to now focus our attention on free agency,” Murphy said in a statement.

Griffen also posted a thankful message on Instagram.

“While it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye, I leave Minnesota in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been and have many Pro Bowl seasons to come,” Griffen wrote. “Wherever my next stop is, I will always be grateful to and cheering for the Vikings. Thank you all for the love, support and memories.”


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When I came to Minnesota as a fourth-round pick out of USC, I had no idea how much my life would change over the next 10 years. I realized my dream of playing in the NFL, went to four Pro Bowls and came within one game of playing in the Super Bowl in front of the best fans in the country. More importantly, I became a husband, a dad, and met teammates who became brothers for life. I also stumbled a few times on my journey and could not be more grateful for the unconditional support and love I received from SKOL Nation. While it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye, I leave Minnesota in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been and have many Pro Bowl seasons to come! Wherever my next stop is, I will always be grateful to and cheering for the Vikings. Thank you all for the love, support and memories.

A post shared by Everson Griffen (@eversongriffen) on

 

Griffen voided the remaining three years on his contract back in late February.

A fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2010, Griffen was the longest-tenured Vikings player on the 2019 roster. In 147 games with Minnesota over 10 seasons, Griffen compiled 355 total tackles, 86 tackles for loss, 176 quarterback hits and 74.5 sacks — the fourth-most by any player in franchise history.

After missing five games in 2018 due to mental health reasons, Griffen bounced back last season in a big way, tallying 41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 15 contests.