ESPN reports that Cedric Griffin’s new contract extension is worth $25 million over 5 years, with $10 million in guaranteed money.
So far, the reactions I’ve heard from Vikings fans range from WTF? to WTF!?!
However, the contract is not really unwarranted. While Griffin showed little promise in the first half of last season, he made up for it down the stretch. Griffin was second on the team in tackles with 91 last season, and had 92 the season before. While he only has three career interceptions, he has created his fair share of turnovers by causing eight career fumbles.
At age 26 and playing in a defensive scheme that doesn’t demand it’s corners to be great cover guys, Griffin could continue to improve and may eventually be quite the bright spot in the Vikings defensive backfield.
Also, remember that Antoine Winfield, Charles Gordon, Karl Paymah, and Benny Sapp are all due to become free agents after the 2009 season. The one thing is questionable about the extension is that Griffin was only due to make $530,000 this season and would’ve been a restricted free agent next offseason.
So, in short, the Vikings chose to cough up some cash to lock up Griffin for the long term when they could’ve had him on the cheap for two more years. If that doesn’t mean that the Vikings organization sees good things in his future, then I don’t know what does.