“Betting On His Potential”March 9th, 2014
Every year there is outright madness in free agency at certain positions. Unfortunately for the sack-starved Bucs, this year’s lunacy is at defensive end.
The Vikings inking of Everson Griffen to a five-year, $42 million contract today, with $20 million guaranteed, is evidence of what happens in a pass-happy league that has fewer sackmasters than star quarterbacks.
Griffen, 26, has just 17.5 sacks over the past three seasons, 5 1/2 last year.
As Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling outlines in the BSPN video below, Minnesota is “betting on his potential.”
So is that what you earn for pass rushing “potential,” $20 million guaranteed? Jeez. Perhaps the Vikings would trade a second-round pick for DaQuan Bowers? That Vikings deal is worse than former Bucs rockstar general manager Mark Dominik giving Michael Clayton $10 million guaranteed in 2009, five years removed from his only strong season.
Lovie Smith was barking loudly a few weeks ago about how he needs a double-digit pass rusher in a hurry because he doesn’t have one on the roster. If Griffen is commanding that kind of cash, then want will a proven sackmaster demand?
BSPN reported that seven teams (one of them the Bucs) are chasing Bengals free agent pass rusher Michael Johnson, who’s leaps and bounds better than Griffen. And to think Dominik and Greg Schiano likely could have locked up Michael Bennett last year for less than the price of Griffen! That’s enough to drive Joe to flavored vodka.
Joe sparred a bit on Twitter with his friend Shaun King today about the Griffen deal. The former Bucs QB was appalled that Joe said William Gholston very well could be in Griffen’s league because Griffen hasn’t proven much. Joe stands behinds his take.
Joe’s assuming that either Minnesota is nuts (doubtful), or teams are diving into the Seahawks model of collecting talented defensive ends.
Hopefully, when the dust settles on free agency this week, the Bucs have a legitimate pass rusher on the roster, not a guy with a $20 million price tag and “potential.”