Despite having made two big signings to fortify their edge rusher positions last year, the Packers are interested another impact pass-rushing talent.
The Packers are among the teams to express interest in free agent edge defender Everson Griffen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The longtime Vikings defensive end is interested in a Green Bay deal as well, per Rapoport. This marks the second team Griffen has identified as a preferred landing spot. He pegged Seattle as a potential destination months ago.
This news comes shortly after Mike Zimmer indicated he would love to have Griffen back for an 11th season in Minnesota. The seventh-year Vikings HC, however, was not sure where that process stood.
“I know that he texted me the other day telling me congratulations and things like that,” Zimmer said regarding his recent contract extension. “I’d love to have him back. He’s always been one of my guys, so if that happens that’d be great. I don’t know where that’s at right now.”
The Vikings have been believed set to move on from Griffen this offseason, but they did not make a notable investment to replace the Pro Bowl pass rusher. The Packers, however, already have Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, along with 2019 first-round pick Rashan Gary. Adding Griffen at this juncture would not cost Green Bay the kind of money it shelled out for the Smiths — $16.5MM and $13MM on average, respectively — and it would certainly bolster one of the league’s best pass-rushing groups. Though, Griffen — Minnesota’s No. 4 all-time sack leader — would seemingly have a better chance to see significant playing time elsewhere. The Packers hold nearly $12MM in cap space; the Vikings have almost $10MM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.