Michael Griffin

Former Titans DB Michael Griffin To Retire

Longtime Titans safety Michael Griffin will sign a one-day contract to retire with Tennessee, the club announced today.

Griffin, 33, spent nine seasons with the Titans from 2007-15. During that time, the former first-round pick was a mainstay in the club’s secondary, making 141 appearances and 133 starts. While never a star, Griffin did earn two Pro Bowl nods with Tennessee, and was also named second-team All-Pro in 2010. In his run with the Titans, Griffin ranked as a top-10 safety in interceptions, forced fumble, and approximate value, Pro Football Reference’s value over replacement metric.

Griffin bounced around at the end of his career, as he agreed to a one-year contract with the Vikings in 2016 but failed to make the team’s roster out of training camp. He subsequently landed with the Panthers and played in 13 games, but didn’t find a deal for the 2017 campaign.

PFR extends it best wishes to Griffin as he enters retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Broncos, Siemian, Seahawks

Could the Broncos use Trevor Siemian as trade bait? Adam Schefter of ESPN.com wonders aloud if Denver could shop the quarterback at some point given that Paxton Lynch is their signal caller of the future. The Broncos drafted the Memphis product with the idea that he could play right away and there are surely plenty of teams that would have interest in Siemian now that he has proven himself to be a capable QB. By the same token, the Broncos are 3-0 and they’re obviously not looking to jettison their starter right now.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • How does new acquisition C.J. Spiller fit into the Seahawks running back picture? ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia says that Spiller will take over on third downs and be used in the passing game. Meanwhile, it will be mostly Christine Michael as Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise heal up. Spiller didn’t do much with the Saints but he did have two 1,110+ yard seasons while with the Bills. Seattle is hoping that he still has a bit left in the tank.
  • Safety Michael Griffin and defensive tackle Kyle Love each got one-year deals when they signed with the Panthers, according to the team’s official announcement. Carolina agreed to sign both players on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The Packers tried out defensive tackles Brandin Bryant, Lars Koht, and Joey Mbu as well as offensive tackle Lawrence Walker, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Defensive tackle John Hughes‘ deal with the Patriots is a one-year, $760K deal, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. He gets a $428K injury split but no signing bonus or guaranteed money.
  • The Chiefs worked out former Idaho offensive tackle Jesse Davis yesterday, as Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.

Panthers Sign S Michael Griffin, DL Kyle Love

The Panthers announced that they will sign safety Michael Griffin and re-sign veteran defensive tackle Kyle LoveMichael Griffin

At the age of 31, Griffin is not the player he once was. But, he still managed to start 14 games for Tennessee last season, accruing 65 tackles, one interception, and one sack. He was not expected to be a focal point of Minnesota’s secondary and before the season opener, the Vikings decided that he didn’t have a place on the roster either. Griffin is no longer a top safety, but he can certainly provide help at the position for Carolina. Last season, he logged 100 or more tackles for the sixth time in seven years.

Love, 29, will give the Panthers additional defensive line help while Vernon Butler deals with a high ankle sprain. Love spent the offseason with the Panthers but missed the 53-man cut in early September.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Reach Injury Settlement With Michael Griffin

WEDNESDAY, 5:37pm: Griffin and the Vikings reached an injury settlement, sending the veteran safety into free agency, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com tweets. Griffin injured his back in late August.

SATURDAY, 5:07pm: The Vikings announced that they’ve actually placed Griffin on IR, but could presumably release him with a settlement.

SATURDAY, 1:00pm: The Vikings quest to get down to 53 will include the release of a veteran safety. Michael Griffin, who just joined the Vikings this offseason, has been cut. Griffin wrote the following on Instagram (sic):Michael Griffin

Just want to thank the @vikings organization for the opportunity and want to wish them the best the Season. Thanks for memories and friendships that will never be broken.”

At the age of 31, Griffin is not the player he once was. He still managed to start 14 games for Tennessee last season, accruing 65 tackles, one interception, and one sack. He was not expected to be a focal point of Minnesota’s secondary, but he apparently didn’t do enough to make the team this summer.

For a full list of the Vikings cuts today, check out our Vikings tracker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings’ Roster Stands At 53

The Vikings have trimmed their roster down to 53 by making the following moves:

Placed on IR:

Placed On NFI:

  • QB Taylor Heinicke

Moore, who turns 26 next week, appeared in eight games for the Pats in 2014 after being taken with a sixth-round pick. In 2015, he found his way to Minnesota where he appeared in one regular season contest.

Boehringer, a native of Germany, became the first international player to go straight from a European league to the NFL when the Vikings chose him in the sixth round. He ultimately failed to earn a roster spot, though he could land on the Vikings’ practice squad, per Rapoport.

North Notes: Rudock, Orlovsky, Mallett

Through the first two games of the preseason, Lions rookie quarterback Jake Rudock has outplayed veteran Dan Orlovsky by a wide margin, which has left many wondering who will serve as Matthew Stafford‘s primary backup in 2016. Although Orlovsky entered training camp with a huge lead over the rookie for the backup job, and few expected Rudock to seriously vie for it — indeed, Orlovsky has the game experience that a team looks for in a No. 2 signal-caller, and Rudock did not play very well during Detroit’s offseason program — Rudock’s performance and Orlovsky’s struggles in the preseason may leave head coach Jim Caldwell with a difficult decision. When asked who he expected to win the job, Caldwell said, “the best player, period” (article via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com).

Of course, as Meinke observes, the best player for the short term isn’t always the best player for the long term, so Caldwell’s comments do not add much clarity, and Caldwell would reveal little else about how the Lions would go about choosing between the quarterbacks, other than to say the club is weighing its options. As Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press writes, if the Lions keep all three quarterbacks, you can count on Orlovsky being the No. 2 on gamedays. The real question is who the Lions keep if they carry just one backup, which is usually how New England built its roster when Lions GM Bob Quinn was in the front office there.

Now for a quick swing around the league’s North divisions:

  • In a separate piece, Birkett examines Stevan Ridley‘s roster status, noting that Ridley has surprisingly been relegated to the second half of the Lions‘ first two preseason games. Ridley, the five-year veteran who was expected to challenge Zach Zenner for the “big back” role on offense, played just nine snaps during Detroit’s Thursday night contest. As Birkett notes, however, it is still too early to read too much into preseason playing time, especially since Ridley is easily the most accomplished of the group of backs fighting for a roster spot behind Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. Similarly, Caldwell said the Lions are still figuring out their running back rotation, and preseason performance is only one part of the formula.
  • Although it was believed that the Ravens signed veteran signal-caller Josh Johnson to be little more than a camp arm, with Ryan Mallett firmly entrenched as Joe Flacco‘s backup, Johnson has played very well in Baltimore’s first two preseason contests, and head coach John Harbaugh indicated last night that there is indeed a legitimate battle for the backup job between Johnson and Mallett (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun). Mallett has also played reasonably well during the preseason games but has struggled mightily during training camp. Whether Harbaugh’s comments have any truth behind them, or whether they are simply intended to motivate Mallett, remains to be seen.
  • Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press believes that the battle for the Vikings‘ starting strong safety spot will again come down to the wire, just as it has in each of the past two seasons. As Tomasson writes, incumbent Andrew Sendejo got the nod in the Aug. 12 preseason opener at Cincinnati before Michael Griffin started in Thursday’s 18-11 win at Seattle. There are two more games left for the two to fight it out.
  • Earlier today, we learned what Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell had to say about his suspension.

Vikings Sign Michael Griffin

MARCH 14, 1:43pm: The Vikings have officially confirmed their deal with Griffin, via a press release.

MARCH 9, 5:20pm: Griffin will sign for one year, and can earn $3.5MM (or $4MM through incentives), tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

5:03pm: The Vikings are in agreement with free agent safety Michael Griffin, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Griffin was released by the Titans at the beginning of February.Michael Griffin (Vertical)

Minnesota has been fairly active on the free agent market today, but they’d also been proactive in retaining one of their own safeties in Andrew Sendejo, who agreed to a four-year deal earlier in the week. But even after retaining Sendejo, the Vikings showed interest in other safeties — such as George Iloka and Reggie Nelson — so it’s probably safe to say the club is more comfortable with Sendejo as a reserve.

Griffin, then, is probably being counted on to start, at the age of 31, he’s not the player he once was. He still managed to start 14 games for Tennessee last season, accruing 65 tackles, one interception, and one sack, and he won’t have to be the focal point of the Vikings’ secondary — Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes are the premier players in Minnesota’s defensive backfield, so Griffin can take on more of a complementary role. Griffin ranked as PFR’s No. 15 available safety.

AS noted, the Vikings have made a number of signings today, including guards Alex Boone and Mike Harris and linebackers Emmanuel Lamur and Travis Lewis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Contract Details: Vernon, Jenkins, Mack

Here are some of the latest details on many recent agreed-upon and signed contracts from out of the NFC (all links via Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post unless otherwise indicated)…

NFC East:

  • Olivier Vernon, DE (Giants): Five years, $85MM. $52.5MM guaranteed. $20MM signing bonus. $7MM roster bonus due on fifth day of 2016 league year (Twitter links).
  • Janoris Jenkins, CB (Giants): Five years, $62.5MM. $28.8MM guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $1.4MM base salary in 2016 (Twitter link).
  • Brandon Brooks, G (Eagles): Five years, $40MM. $21MM guaranteed. $11MM signing bonus. $1MM base salary in 2016 and $5MM base salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Chase Daniel, QB (Eagles): Three years, $21MM base value. $36MM max value. $3MM signing bonus. $3MM roster bonus due on March 14. $3MM base escalators in 2017 and 2018 (Twitter link).
  • Colt McCoy, QB (Washington): Three years, $9MM base value. Third year can be voided based on playing time. $1.8MM signing bonus. $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Ron Brooks, CB (Eagles): Three years, $5.5MM. $1.55MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus (Twitter link).

NFC South:

NFC North:

  • Marvin Jones, WR (Lions): Five years, $40MM. $20MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Alex Boone, G (Vikings): Four years, $26.8MM. $10MM guaranteed. Annual $100K workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Danny Trevathan, LB (Bears): Four years, $24.5MM. $12MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter link).
  • Michael Griffin, S (Vikings): One year, $2.5MM. $250K signing bonus. $500K of $1.65MM base salary guaranteed. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter links).
  • Tavon Wilson, S (Lions): Two years, $2.2MM. $500K signing bonus. Up to $500K in annual playing-time incentives (Twitter link).

NFC West:

  • Mark Barron, OLB (Rams): Five years, $45MM. $20MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • William Hayes, DE (Rams): Three years, $17.5MM. $10MM guaranteed. $4MM roster bonus due on March 13 (Twitter link).
  • Tyvon Branch, S (Cardinals): Two years, $8MM. $1MM signing bonus. $1.75MM roster bonus in 2016, $1MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link).
  • Tim Barnes, C (Rams): Two years, $5.6MM. $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.25MM roster bonus due in four days. $750K roster bonus due on third day of 2017 league year guaranteed for injury, skill; becomes fully guaranteed if on roster June 17. Up to $1MM in annual playing-time incentives. $250K annual Pro Bowl incentive (all Twitter links).
  • Brian Quick, WR (Rams): One year, $1.75MM. $1.5MM guaranteed ($1.25MM bas salary, $250K roster bonus due on March 15). $2MM stats incentive (Twitter link).

Extra Points: Slay, Lions, Bills, Griffin, Oher

Lions cornerback Darius Slay has made it clear that he’d like to sign an extension with Detroit, and it looks like some movement may be coming on that front. According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), Slay’s new agent Drew Rosenhaus will meet with the Lions at the scouting combine to discuss a new contract. As Cole notes, it probably makes sense for Detroit to strike a deal now — and add some guaranteed money in 2016 while they’re flush with cap space — instead of waiting until next offseason and running the risk of having to franchise Slay.

Here’s a few more notes from around the NFL:

  • Restricted free agent Corbin Bryant believes he can be part of the solution in Buffalo, and the Bills defensive lineman wants to be retained, as Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News writes. Because of cap trouble, Dunne expects the Bills to tender Bryant, a restricted free agent, at the lowest level, but he notes (via Twitter) that the two sides haven’t had any talks as of yet.
  • While Bryant is set to hit restricted free agency, Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham is an unrestricted free agent, and he’s willing to accept a one-year, “prove-it” deal to return to Buffalo, reports Dunne (Twitter link). Bradham was a much better fit under former Buffalo DC Jim Schwartz than he is in Rex Ryan‘s system, but general manger Doug Whaley wants Bradham to return, per Dunne.
  • Free agent safety Michael Griffin has hired David Mulugheta and Andrew Kessler as his new agents, as Rand Getlin of NFL Network reports (Twitter link). The 31-year-old Griffin was released last week after nine seasons with the Titans.
  • Like Slay did earlier this year, Panthers tackle Michael Oher has hired Rosenhaus as his representative, tweets Getlin. Oher, coming off a surprisingly successful first season in Carolina, has a $4.5MM 2016 cap charge in the second year of a two-year deal, and could be a candidate for an extension.

South Notes: Tillman, Norman, Browner

A pair of former Pro Bowl safeties were released this week, and both William Moore and Michael Griffin have already drawn some interest from teams around the NFL, according to reports.

Andy Ross, the agent for Moore, tells D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has received “a few calls” from teams inquiring about his client, who was cut by the Falcons on Monday. As for Griffin, he was just released hours ago by the Titans, but during an appearance today on The Midday 180 in Nashville, he said he had already received text messages from a couple coaches he used to play for, telling him to give them a call (link via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com).

With a month to go until the 2016 free agent period begins, both Moore and Griffin should have plenty of time to explore the market to find the best possible fits before the rest of this year’s class can sign with new teams.

Let’s round up a few more items from out of the NFL’s South divisions….

  • Cornerback Charles Tillman told Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer today that he wants to continue his NFL career, but only if he can keep playing for the Panthers. Tillman is a pending free agent.
  • Asked today about cornerback Josh Norman, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said “you can’t sign everybody,” but acknowledged that he would consider the franchise tag for Norman, if necessary (link via David Newton of ESPN.com). A weekend report indicated Carolina is likely to franchise Norman.
  • The Saints are expected to cut Brandon Browner, but don’t expect it to happen before March, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap, who tweets that Browner’s cap numbers may force the club to wait until the new league year begins.
  • The Colts have hired former Morgan State coach Lee Hull as a wide receivers coach, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.