NFL free agency has been going on for weeks, but still, there are some big fish left to sign with teams.
For the Seattle Seahawks, they are in a wait and see game in regards to Jadeveon Clowney, who has reportedly lowered his asking price from $20M to somewhere in the $17M range.
The Seahawks remain in the mix for the edge rusher, but their offer remains lower and neither side appears to be budging.
While Seattle courts Clowney, who had core surgery to repair a sports hernia over the offseason, the Seahawks and free agent DE Everson Griffen have reportedly shared mutual interest.
With the NFL Draft just two weeks away, one wonders if a deal with either Clowney, Griffen or both (unlikely) will happen before then.
One shoe has to drop before the other happens, though.
As the waiting game continues, Griffen spoke with Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, saying the process “has taken a lot of patience, a lot of self-reflection” regarding why he hasn’t drawn more interest after an eight-sack season for the Vikings in 2019.
Griffen voided the final three years of his contract with the Vikings to become a free agent this offseason. He was just one of only two players in the NFL last season to have a player-controlled void that allowed him to out of his contract if he hit a series of benchmarks: 6.5 sacks and playing on 57 percent of the team's defensive snaps. Last season, Griffen had eight sacks and played 78 percent of snaps.
At age 32, Griffen has recorded 57 sacks over the past six seasons, beating out former No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney's 32 in the same time span.
He is betting on himself, believing he can command more than the $13.9 million cap hit he was going to have on the Vikings roster, but so far, it hasn’t panned out.
"It's like, why haven't (more) teams been interested? And the reason why is because they don't know Everson."
Outside of Griffen’s dominating performance on the field, some may look to what has been reported off the field.
There are widely publicized reports from 2018 of verbal outbursts in practice, which prompted the Vikings to order Griffen to undergo a mental health evaluation. He had an encounter with police at a hotel in Minnesota when "an individual was threatening to shoot someone if he wasn't allowed in his room." Additionally, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, Griffen was "growing increasingly paranoid and feared someone was trying to kill him in the weeks and days," ahead of that police incident. Griffen lived in a sober house for three months to deal with mental health issues.
Griffen insists those days are behind him, though.
“I am healthy and there's nothing really that you have to worry about, because I'm doing all the right things. There's nothing I'm doing behind the scenes that they should be worried about. I'm doing everything possible to make sure that 2018 doesn't happen again. And it will not happen."
Still, with the COVID-19 pandemic closing facilities indefinitely, it’s harder for teams to answer the questions that they will undoubtedly have about Griffen’s state of mind and how he’d fit in the locker room.
Griffen wants to try and put teams at ease, though. And he makes a strong case with the numbers he’s put up.
“I’m a hundred percent positive that 2019 was just a glimpse of what I still have left in the tank.”