Griffen recorded 33 tackles, six sacks and four pass breakups over 14 games in 2020.
Griffen played in seven games for Dallas before being traded to Detroit midseason. The 33-year-old provided a spark to a dormant Lions pass rush and ultimately put up respectable numbers in limited playing time. While Griffen is probably past the point in his career when he can be relied upon as an every-down starter, the former Viking at least showed he has something left in the tank this year despite his advanced age. Griffen will now enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent who shouldn't be hurting for suitors when the new league year starts up in March.
The Lions activated Griffen from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Griffen missed the Week 14 loss to the Packers and this past Sunday's loss to Tennessee, but he'll be able to return against Tampa Bay on Saturday. The veteran defensive end has accumulated 30 tackles (15 solo) and five sacks over 12 combined games with Detroit and Dallas this season.
Griffen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.
Griffen either tested positive for the virus or came into close contact with an infected person. He won't be available for Sunday's game against the Packers, and if he tested positive, he'll miss next week's game versus the Titans as well. Romeo Okwara, Da'Shawn Hand (groin) and Austin Bryant (thigh) will handle most of the reps at defensive end in Week 14.
The Lions acquired Griffen from the Cowboys on Tuesday in exchange for a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Griffen had been one of the few quality performers on a struggling Dallas defense this season, logging 2.5 sacks and 20 tackles through seven games. Since Griffen was playing on an expiring deal and the Cowboys recently returned another defensive end in Randy Gregory from suspension, Dallas apparently viewed the 32-year-old as an expendable piece. The addition of Griffen should provide a much-needed boost to Detroit's pass rush, but he won't be eligible to make his Lions debut until Week 9 in Minnesota while he waits to clear COVID-19 intake testing protocols, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Griffen posted five tackles (three solo) and a sack in Sunday's 25-3 loss to Washington.
Griffen has yet to start a game this season, but he's handling a starter's workload, logging at least 50 percent of the defensive workload in six of seven contests. The veteran defensive end is now up to 20 tackles (10 solo), 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup this year, and he has a favorable Week 8 matchup against the Eagles on tap, as Carson Wentz has been sacked a league-high 28 times this year.
Griffen recorded five tackles, including a sack, in Sunday's comeback win over the Falcons.
The veteran pass rusher picked a perfect time to secure his first sack as a Cowboy, taking down Matt Ryan late in the fourth quarter on Atlanta's final possession to help set up the game's dramatic finish. DeMarcus Lawrence injured his knee during the game and saw limited action in the second half, and if he's forced to miss any time, Griffen's ability to generate pressure off the edge will become even more important to the Dallas defense.
Griffen agreed to terms Wednesday with the Cowboys on a one-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The deal could be worth up to $6 million with incentives and bonuses, per David Helman of DallasCowboys.com. Griffen will add a proven presence to an already stout defensive line in Dallas after having spent the first 10 years of his professional career in Minnesota. The 31-year-old recording at least five sacks in each of the past eight seasons and logged 41 tackles (26 solo) and eight sacks across 863 defensive snaps in 2019. He'll likely slot into the starting lineup at defensive end opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, giving Dallas a formidable pair of bookends for their pass rush.
Griffen is no longer considering re-signing with the Vikings, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Griffen's agent released a statement saying "We have broken off talks with Minnesota because they have to spend their money elsewhere and we decided to now focus our attention on free agency." After having spent his entire NFL career with the Vikings, the veteran defensive end will now look to bring his talents elsewhere. Griffen has notched at least 40 total tackles and eight sacks in five of the last six seasons.
Coach Mike Zimmer suggested Griffen could re-sign with the Vikings, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Griffen exercised an opt-out clause in his contract last week, realizing that a $12.9 million cap hit without any salary guarantees would leave him vulnerable to being released at a later date. The Vikings are optimistic they can work out a deal with a lower cap hit and also some form of protection for the 32-year-old defensive end. Griffen has spent his entire pro career in Minnesota.
Griffen has exercised the right to opt out of his current contract, Courtney Cronin of ESPN reports.
Griffen met multiple performance thresholds in 2019 that opened the door for him to opt out, and a source ultimately told ESPN that the veteran lineman intends to do so. While the 32-year-old was a key piece of the defense last year with 41 combined tackles and eight sacks through 15 games, he would have represented a potential $12.9 million cap hit for 2020, which could have resulted in him being a cap casualty given Minnesota's financial situation (it was projected to be over the cap in double digits).
Griffen has the option to void his contract this offseason, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Griffen signed a four-year, $58 million extension in July 2017, later agreeing to a reduced base salary for 2019. He's now set to enter the second season of the extension, carrying a $12.9 million base salary and $13.9 million cap hit, per overthecap.com. None of the remaining money is guaranteed, so Griffen may decide to void the contract, especially if he's worried the Vikings might release him later in the offseason. The 32-year-old defensive end had 41 tackles and eight sacks in 15 games during the 2019 campaign, adding six tackles and 1.5 sacks in two playoff appearances. His 24 QB hits during the regular season tied for 11th in the league, and a 76.0 grade from Pro Football Focus tied for 26th among 108 qualified edge rushers. Even so, the cap-strapped Vikings may consider Griffen expendable, after fellow defensive ends Danielle Hunter (14.5 sacks) and Ifeadi Odenigbo (7.0 sacks) also had impressive seasons in 2019.
Griffen, who posted six tackles and 1.5 sacks over two postseason contests, finished the 2019 season with 41 tackles, eight sacks and two pass breakups over 15 regular-season games.
The 32-year-old defensive end finished second on the team in sacks behind Danielle Hunter (14.5), while third-year pro Ifeadi Odenigbo wasn't far behind with seven. Griffen averaged 57.5 defensive snaps per contest, and he'll be a starter again in 2020. He has three years remaining on his contract.
Griffen (knee) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game versus the Lions.
Griffen played a season-low 57 percent of defensive snaps against the Seahawks and began the week as a limited practice participant, but he's ready to go for Week 14. The 31-year-old should resume his typically heavier workload now that he's healthy.
Griffen (knee) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.
Griffen was hampered by this issue in this past Monday's loss to the Seahawks, as he played a season-low, 57-percent snap share and didn't record a tackle. The veteran defensive end will likely tough it out again Sunday against the Lions since he remains on the practice field.
Griffen (knee) was limited in Thursday's practice.
Minnesota did not practice Thursday, so this status is just an estimation. The 31-year-old has yet to miss a game this season, but if he were to sit out, Ifeadi Odenigbo would likely see more snaps.
Griffen posted three tackles (one solo) and a sack in Sunday's 27-23 win over the Broncos.
Griffen continues to be a strong pass-rushing threat, as he's marked seven sacks through 11 games -- 1.5 more than he had at this point in 2018. The veteran defensive end has also been more durable than last season, and now he'll benefit from Week 12's bye to hopefully keep him that way. Griffen will suit up next Dec. 2 against the Seahawks.
Griffen notched six tackles (five solo) and a sack in Sunday's 26-23 loss to the Chiefs.
Griffen sacked Matt Moore late in the fourth quarter, but the Vikings were unable to hold on as they lost on a last-second field goal. The veteran defensive end has matched his 2018 total of 5.5 sacks, and his fourth double-digit sack campaign is within reach.
Griffen (quadriceps) was a full participant at Tuesday's practice.
Griffen played a season-high 73 snaps in Sundays win over the Lions and was estimated as a non-participant on Monday's injury report. The 31-year-old's return to practice puts him on track to play Thursday against the Redskins.
Griffin was estimated to be a non-participant on Monday's injury report with a quadriceps issue.
The Vikings didn't actually practice Monday, but it's still not a great sign Griffen wasn't expected to practice. The 31-year-old played a season-high 73 snaps in Sunday's win over the Lions and it's unclear how he sustained the injury. Griffen's status for Thursday's matchup with the Redskins remains up in the air.
Griffen recorded six tackles (four solo) and a sack across 41 defensive snaps in Sunday's win over the Raiders.
Griffen notched his second sack of the season Sunday and had the most tackles in a single contest so far this year. Overall, it was probably the veteran's best performance of the season, but he'll look to raise the bar next Sunday against Mitch Trubisky and the Bears in Chicago.
|Sun 11/08||@ MIN||L 20-34||1||2||3||0||0||1||0||0|
|Sun 11/15||vs WAS||W 30-27||2||1||3||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/22||@ CAR||L 0-20||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Thu 11/26||vs HOU||L 25-41||1||1||2||0.5||0||1||0||0|
|Sun 12/06||@ CHI||W 34-30||1||1||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sat 12/26||vs TB||L 7-47||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 01/03||vs MIN||L 35-37||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Career Defensive Stats|
|Career Kick Return Stats|