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No Pack No: Could Everson Griffen end up signing with Green Bay?

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 25, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during player introductions prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There have been numerous occasions over the years in which the Vikings have jumped at the chance to sign players from the arch-rival Green Bay Packers. The most notable was quarterback Brett Favre, but there have been others, such as kicker Ryan Longwell and wide receivers Greg Jennings and Robert Ferguson.

Well, it appears the Packers might return the favor in 2020. Two days after Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he would love to have Everson Griffen back on his team, it was reported the defensive end is narrowing down his choices and that the Packers have expressed interest in the veteran. That report comes from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Griffen voided the final three years of his contract last February after getting eight sacks in his 10th season with the Vikings. The 32-year-old probably thought he quickly would sign elsewhere but that didn’t happen, largely in part because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Griffen, a fourth-round pick of Minnesota in 2010, had 74.5 career sacks with the Vikings and developed into a standout right end under Zimmer. “I don’t know,” Zimmer said Saturday when asked about Griffen potentially returning. “I know that he texted me the other day telling me congratulations (on Zimmer’s contract extension) and things like that. I’d love to have him back. He’s always been one of my guys, so if that happens that’d be great. I don’t know where that’s at right now.’’

The Vikings two starting defensive ends — Griffen and Danielle Hunter — combined for 22.5 sacks last season. The Vikings are expected to give Ifeadi Odenigbo a chance to replace Griffen. A seventh-round pick out of Northwestern in 2017, Odenigbo had seven sacks in 2019.

The Vikings’ rookies and quarterbacks reported to training camp last Thursday and the full squad is due to report on Tuesday.