NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via a person who has seen the deal, that the Vikings are re-signing would-be free agent Everson Griffen to a five-year, $42.5 million contract with $20 million in guaranteed money.
Griffen's new deal will pay him in the upper echelon of pass rushers over the first three seasons, per Rapoport.
One of the most intriguing free agents on Around The League's top 101 list, Griffen is a versatile, physically gifted young player who flashed dominant pass-rushing ability behind Jared Allen and Brian Robison.
In addition to his 13.5 sacks, Griffen has generated an impressive 62 quarterback hurries over the past two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.
Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman clearly view Griffen as an ascendent player ready to move into a starting role now that Allen is seeking greener pastures in free agency.
Griffen's lucrative deal would seem to make it less likely that Johnson will wind up in Minneapolis, particularly since he reportedly has at least a half-dozen suitors lined up.
With defensive end sewn up, Spielman can turn his attention to cornerback Alterraun Verner instead.