Everson Griffen is one of the top remaining NFL free agents, and there's been plenty of demand for his services since the veteran pass rusher with the Minnesota Vikings back in February. That doesn't mean the former Pro Bowler is any closer to signing with a new team, however. According to The Athletic's Chad Graff, Griffen has long desired to visit teams in person before deciding where he'll play in 2020.
Restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered all 32 NFL team facilities starting in March, forced this year's top free agents to strike deals remotely, but now that the league has under state and local guidelines, Griffen is expected to hold tight and wait until he can finally visit other teams before signing.
"His hope is that he'll soon be able to visit different franchises," Graff wrote Thursday, "and (he) believes that when he does, there will be a strong market for him."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed teams during the league's initial reopening announcement that only front office staff -- and rehabilitating players and their strength and conditioning coaches -- would be allowed at team facilities for the time being. But the NFL and NFL Players Association have begun preparing a protocol for a select number of players to return to facilities, perhaps as soon as June. It's unclear whether free agent visits, especially those including cross-country travel, would be included.
Either way, it's unlikely Griffen will be able to visit any teams until at least next month.
Asked by a reader if the defensive end could be more inclined to re-sign with the Vikings because of the circumstances, Graff suggested Griffen is still just as likely to sign elsewhere as he was when he hit the open market.
"It sounds like there are still plenty of other options and he's just waiting until he'll be able to visit those teams," Graff said. "If I had to guess, I think there's a less than 50 percent chance he returns to the Vikings."