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Vikings sign DE Everson Griffen to five-year deal

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Everson Griffen will return to Minnesota. (USATSI)
Everson Griffen will return to Minnesota. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

Defensive end Everson Griffen has re-signed a five-year contract with the Vikings, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, and it's a big-time deal as ESPN.com reports that it's worth $42.5 million with $20 million of it guaranteed.

Griffen was ranked the No. 34 free agent on our CBSSports.com list and the sixth-rated defensive end.

In his four seasons with the Vikings, Griffen has only started one of 59 games, but he's rung up 17.5 combined sacks in the past three years. Still, it's not like he's been a standout defensive player.

As ESPN.com wrote last month, "For many who were expecting a breakout year from the 6-foot-3 end [in 2013], his season qualified as a disappointment. He had dropped down to 266 pounds before the season, with an eye toward gaining some quickness as a pass-rusher, but was too often washed out of plays at the beginning of the season. Griffen showed flashes of the dynamic, versatile pass-rusher he can be, but never really turned into the force the Vikings were hoping he would be in 2013. That might still be coming."

As CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reported Sunday, defensive end Jared Allen will not be returning to Minnesota. The Vikings probably hope Griffen is the man who can fill Allen's old role.

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