Confirmed rumors have been posted recently by NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport:
“As long-time #Vikings DE and current free agent Everson Griffen narrows down his choices, the rival #Packers are among the teams to express interest. That interest is mutual. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer had recently said he wants Griffen back, as well”.
If all goes well for Brian Gutekunst and Griffen’s agent, Packers fans could see the former rival in the Green and Gold. Lining Griffen up along with the Smith Bros wouldn’t just give Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine more options, it could be lethal on the football field.
This is assuming, however, that there will be a football season, which most people agree that the NFL will at the very least try to start the season and maintain some sort of bubble system in which the NBA and NHL have adopted.
There are no promises when it comes to this upcoming season. The fact is that many contract negotiations are going to be disrupted, and players, including the Packers’ own WR Devin Funchess, have opted out of the 2020 NFL Season.
What may be promising, is Griffen solidifying a struggling Packers run-defense. The pass rush last season essentially kept the Packers hopes alive of another Super Bowl run, but the run defense, unlike other years, killed the Packers’ hopes last season in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.
On the flip side, the Vikings’ defense was bolstered by Griffen’s performance. He recorded 8 sacks in 2019, and is 7th on the Vikings’ all-time sack list with 74.5. The impact that Griffen would have on the Packers’ defense would allow them to move around Za’Darius Smith even more than they already do.
Can you imagine defenses trying to game plan for both Smith Bros AND Griffen? It would be a hoot. Not to mention the fact that the Packers may have an up and coming star with Rashan Gary. Yes, Gary may have had little influence in his rookie season but that is due to the fact that he was playing behind two very talented linebackers. Many believe Gary has the ability to become what Clay Matthews once was, and he very well could.
The only issue for Green Bay would be paying Griffen. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the NFL’s Salary Cap is likely to be cut this upcoming season, and there is no guarantee as to what if any football will do to that revenue. TV contracts will still pay the NFL for their entertainment, but fan revenue will plummet. This could be a factor in the Packers’ financial situation, including the fact that Russ Ball may want to play this more conservatively. The Packers have a reserve fund of $400+ Million dollars for a scenario such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, and if no football happens, do the Packers jump on board with Griffen after a year? Who knows.
With all of the unknowns, there are some certainties. Everson Griffen in the Green and Gold would be deadly. It would at the very least keep offensive coordinators’ eye on the Packers’ defense even more than they did last season.
Of course, none of this would matter if Griffen did decide to stay with the Minnesota Vikings, or at least re-sign with them. From a pure competition standpoint, why not come and play with the Smith Bros? Iron sharpens iron, right? This could be even more of a fiasco than the Smith Bros were last season. It could be the spark that gets the Packers over the hump of the NFC Championship game and into the Super Bowl.
Everson Griffen, come to Green Bay.