North Notes: Griffen, Robinson, Bengals

Everson Griffen is one of the top two pass rushers still on the market, and we heard last month that he would probably not re-sign with the Vikings. However, Minnesota did not do much to add to its pass rushing corps in the draft, with South Carolina DE D.J. Wonnum representing the most notable addition. And while GM Rick Spielman acknowledged that his team’s cap space makes it difficult to bring Griffen back, he did not rule it out.

“It is hard to say right now where everything is at and where we are at, [but] until things become more normalized I will never say never on a player,” Spielman recently said on the #PFTPM podcast (via PFT’s Mike Florio). “[Y]our roster is never set.”

Griffen has expressed an interest in joining the Seahawks, but Seattle is still open to bringing back Jadeveon Clowney. If Clowney returns to the ‘Hawks, perhaps Griffen will settle for a one-year deal on a Minnesota defense that he will not have to learn on the fly.

Now for more from the league’s north divisions:

  • Of the three OTs the Vikings added in this year’s draft, only second-rounder Ezra Cleveland profiles as an immediate threat to incumbent LT Riley Reiff. The team could again entertain the notion of kicking Reiff inside to LG, but that’s only if Cleveland proves himself ready for starting left tackle duties, which would be a tall order given the COVID-19 restrictions. So as Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune suggests, Reiff will likely stay at LT for the time being, and 2019 fourth-rounder Dru Samia will compete with Pat Elflein for the starting LG slot. The team could also target a free agent for that role, including Josh Kline, whom the Vikings released in a cost-cutting move in March.
  • Bears WR Allen Robinson said towards the end of last season that he is interested in an extension with Chicago, but the two sides do not appear to be close to a new deal, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Robinson is ticketed for free agency after the 2020 campaign, and Biggs suggests that the franchise tag could be in play if there is no extension in place by the second month of the season.
  • Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic says both A.J. Green and the Bengals have interest in getting a long-term deal done, but it’s unclear exactly how much interest. He expects that nothing will come together prior to the July 15 deadline, which means Green will have to play out the 2020 season on his franchise tender. While there’s a better chance Cincinnati comes to terms with RB Joe Mixon on a new contract, that will not happen before a decision on Green is made. The Bengals are reportedly bracing themselves for a Mixon holdout.
  • In the same piece linked above, Dehner says the Bengals are unlikely to make any free agent additions to the O-line at this point. In a separate piece, he notes that Cincinnati made a free agent splash on cornerbacks in free agency because it did not like this year’s CB draft class. The team did not take a defensive back with any of its seven selections.
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6 comments on “North Notes: Griffen, Robinson, Bengals

  1. skrockij89

    Seattle needs to walk away from Clowney. Use that savings to pick up Griffen and see what Logan Ryan will cost.

  2. kroeg49

    If the Bears have to franchise Robinson, this team is doomed, if it isn’t already.

    • I’m not sure Allen Robinson is the lynchpin to the bears success, he’s worth a deal or the franchise tag if you have to, hopefully he has a better year with foles throwin the ball to him

  3. nentwigs

    Class Act Griffen.
    Way to reward the patience, loyalty, and non-comments on your situation by the VIKINGS !!

  4. midway_monster85

    The bears were doomed when they did nothing to address the o line. Their run game is straight trash and won’t get any better until they do which means neither will their abysmal offense regardless who the QB or WR’s are.

    • Ak185

      With Montgomery as the starter it figures to improve somewhat. Cohen is a great piece but not a lead back, but the biggest factor honestly was teams loading the box every play to force Trubisky to beat them. The Bears have some good players in Whitehair and Daniels, but the retirement of Long hurts them a lot in the run game. We’ll see if Ifedi is effective there now that he’s not playing tackle and subject to more holding calls in pass protection. The run game was hurt by a combination of Cohen being used as a number 1 early and teams loading the box against Trubisky in my opinion.

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