Detroit Lions: It’s time to sign free agent Everson Griffen

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions need to sign free agent defensive end, Everson Griffen.

It’s no secret; the Detroit Lions need to drastically improve their abysmal pass-rush from a year ago, so why not a veteran like Everson Griffen?  The Minnesota Vikings are tight against the cap and have larger fish to fry as their star running back Dalvin Cook is going to be holding out until the two sides agree upon a massive contract extension.

Cook is reportedly seeking upwards of $13-million per season.

Initially, I expected Everson Griffen would be a lock to re-sign with the Vikings after his release but with the Vikings forced to navigate their way through a tight salary cap situation. It’s mostly due to the fact they’ve extended quarterback Kirk Cousins through the 2022 season with a salary that averages a whopping $33-million per season.  Cousins clearly has the best agent in the business; he’s the only mediocre quarterback that consistently earns like an elite player at his position.

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This sounds crazy, but Cousins’ dead-cap number for the 2020 season is an insane $62-millon.  The dead-cap number improves a touch in 2021, down to $41-million.  It’s safe to say Cousins isn’t going anywhere, and that’s good news for the Detroit Lions.

It goes to show us once again, paying a quarterback significant money does hamper the rest of the roster.  I keep going back to fans’ adverse reaction to Matthew Stafford‘s average salary of $27-million.  Sure he was the highest-paid quarterback in the league for a minute, but looking at his deal now compared to the Cousins’ of the world, it’s a bargain.

Unlike the Vikings, the Detroit Lions still have plenty of money to spend, and if Bob Quinn doesn’t feel signing Jadeveon Clowney to an extensive lucrative deal is a smart move, Griffen is a perfect consolation prize and will be significantly cheaper.  Clowney at one time was seeking upwards of $20-million per season, that number has dropped to $17-million or so over the last couple of weeks, but in all likelihood still too costly for what Quinn is willing to spend.

The long-time Viking was in the midst of a four-year deal that earned him an average of $14.5-million per season.  Minnesota was able to buy-out his contract for a mere $800,000 this offseason.  Griffen received $18.8-million in guaranteed money built into the deal.

The free-agent would have an opportunity to thrive with the Detroit Lions, having played his entire nine-year career with the Vikings within the NFC North division.  His familiarity facing the tackles throughout the division would be extremely beneficial to his immediate success.

Griffen recorded eight sacks last season in 15 games played.  He’d be a perfect end opposite Trey Flowers with his hand in the dirt.  With both ends able to set the edge and command the attention of their opponents’ offensive tackles, it will allow the outside linebackers to feast on tight ends and running backs–both Jamie Collins and Julian Okwara would excel.

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The 32-year old Griffen recorded a respectable 77.6 overall grade last season, which included a tremendous 75.9 mark.  It’s just what the doctor ordered for the Detroit Lions.  He’d be a bargain on a one or two year deal that averages $12-million.