Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Eagan, Minn. The Vikings will gradually work in Griffen this week in his return from mental health treatment, with his playing status for the upcoming game against New Orleans yet to be determined. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen had eight sacks while playing 78 percent of the defensive snaps during the 2019 season and he’s set for free agency as a result.

Griffen’s contract contains a clause allowing him to opt out of the remaining three years of his deal as long as he had six sacks while playing 57 percent of the defensive snaps in 2019. Griffen had until February 25 to exercise that right, but Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports that he has already done so.

The move, which was expected, clears $13 million in cap space while leaving $800,000 in dead money.

Cronin adds that there’s a feeling that the team can work out a deal to keep Griffen in Minnesota for less money and Griffen said last month that he wants to stay in Minnesota, so there may not be a change in address this offseason. Talking to other teams next month could shake up that view and voiding the contract opens the door to that possibility.


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