Everson Griffen is an NFL player who has portrayed amazing skills on the field as he is notable for his speed and considered one of the toughest guys on the defensive end. He joined the league after he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 100th overall pick. Prior to the time he went pro, he rated the highest top prospect from Arizona.
He has also been named twice on the NFC list of top players alongside winning player of the month and week sometime in the past. From the look of things, Griffen didn’t just become one of the top professional NFL defensive ends, he started laying his bed right from his days in high school.
Everson Griffen’s Early Days As A Budding Sportsman
The professional footballer was born on December 22nd in 1987 to Sabrina Scott, his mother. Details about his father are not available, more so, the football player barely talks about him but through Everson’s physical looks, one can decipher that his father is of African heritage. However, since his birthplace is Avondale, Arizona, the footballer gained nationality as an American.
Griffen’s passion for football started in his days at Agua Fria High School, Arizona, where he joined the football team as a defensive lineman and running back. In his days as a junior, he beat most of his mates in the game as he rushed 794 yards on 142 carries for 8 touchdowns. In addition to that, he also recorded 12 receptions for 168 yards and a 71-yard reception. Playing in defence, he totalled 77 tackles, 16 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. He also shattered a lot of records as a senior which earned him recognitions like the Super Prep Player of the Year, Scout.com Player of the Year, Parade All-American, and Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year to mention a few of his accolades.
After high school, Everson Griffen enrolled in the University of Southern California where he committed to the Trojans. He showed off his athletic prowess in his freshman year where he played as a backup defensive end. He appeared in 13 games, made 2 starts, recording 21 tackles with a 5.5 loss of 30 yards, 2 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and 2 pass deflections. All through his stay at USC, he impressed his coach and led his team to several wins, gathering a few more accolades.
His NFL Career With The Minnesota Vikings Started In 2010
Everson Griffen decided to go pro in the final year of his collegiate career. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 2nd pick in the 4th round of the 2010 National Football League Draft. After signing with the team, he was kept on deck for the preseason opener where he missed out in 5 games. He later appeared in the last set of games of the season and recorded 11 tackles. The following year, he featured in all 16 games, he was placed in most of the games as a gunner on punt coverage and served as a regular on return units. He aided the special teams unit with a record of 26.9 kickoff return, an average for the season. He also recorded 4.0 sacks that year which set him aside as the 4th player to attain that record for the team.
Although he did not start the 2012 season too well, Griffen was able to pick up later on in the season as he ended up making 8 sacks. His first sack for the season which was meted towards Andrew Luck in a game against the Indianapolis Colts was ranked the 3rd longest sack made by any Vikings. In 2013, Everson Griffen played as defensive, featured in 16 games and finished the season, recording 8 sacks and 27 tackles.
Everson Griffen’s Contract Was Renewed Twice By The Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings renewed their contract with Griffen on March 9th, 2014 and it was a 5-year deal worth $42.5 million with $20 million guaranteed. He started all the 16 games that season and by October 2014, he had recorded 6 sacks and 1 fumble in about 4 games which earned him the NFC Defensive Player of the month title. He also performed impressively in the coming season and by week 17, he was named the NFC Defense Player for the week.
He eventually got his first invitation to the NFL Pro Bowl in 2016 as a replacement of the defensive player, J.J Watt. In each of the games he featured in, he set an outstanding record, pulling more of wins than losses which got him a spot as the 92nd player on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
Griffen later signed another contract extension with the Vikings on July 26th, 2017. By the end of 2017 season, he recorded 1 interception, 2 defensive touchdowns, 4 fumble recoveries, 10 forced fumbles, 61.0 sacks, 70 assisted tackles, and 279 total tackles. His team qualified for the NFC Championship that season. Everson’s efforts were also recognized that season and he was ranked 19th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018 and was later seen in 11 games during the 2018 season and a total of 15 games in the next season before declaring himself as a free agent in February 2020.
Did Griffen’s Mental Health Influence His Decision To Be A Free Agent?
The NFL star made headlines in 2018 as a result of a brawl at a hotel during which he threatened to shoot the hotel employees. He was apprehended and taken to the local hospital in Minneapolis and word was later out on the NFL Network that the Vikings were worried about Griffen’s mental state.
According to an interview Everson had with Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, he spent up to 3 months in a ‘sober house’ which was like a treatment house with a college setting as he had a roommate and only a few clothes to wear. He then had to undergo a recovery process which involved going for therapeutic sessions which he believed he needed in order to rest. They were also not allowed to use cell phones during this period but he went to the gym twice a week and took art classes to help his brain.
He eventually lost about 5 weeks during the 2018 season and returned towards the end of the season. Griffen played in 15 games in the 2019 season in which he started all the games and recorded 8 sacks at the end of the season. He got named to the 2020 Pro Bowl, marking the 4th time he has been on the NFL Pro Bowl during the course of his career.
However, he unexpectedly ended his contract with the Vikings, making him a free agent in February 2020. Although no actual reason has been given for his abrupt exit, many speculate it could be as a result of his health challenge as a relapse could happen at any time. More so, Everson is yet to be signed by any team to date.
He Is A Happily Married Man And Father Of Three
The professional footballer is married to Tiffany Brandt, the two took their vows in 2014. Records have it that they met in a bar located in Brooklyn Park and their tale is that of love at first sight. After two weeks of their meeting, they began the journey of love which took them to the altar.
As of now, their union is blessed with 3 sons. Greyson was born in 2013, then Ellis came along in 2015 while the last son, Sebastian joined the family in November 2017. The player has also expressed his desire to bear a daughter with his wife very soon as he intends to have a large family.
More so, Griffen is making plans for his sons to follow in his footsteps but he revealed that his kids won’t be allowed to play until they get to their freshman year. However, they will be engaged in other sports like basketball, soccer, and baseball during their younger years. The player went on to clarify that his decision to keep them from playing in their younger years is to preserve their brain from any trauma.