The Minnesota Vikings had been showing interest in both Cincinnati Bengals starting safeties, Reggie Nelson and George Iloka, but neither became an early reality in free agency. Iloka ended up re-signing with the Bengals and the Vikings may have decided to move away from Nelson, as NFL Network reports Minnesota has signed former Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin.
Griffin, 31, has been a nine-year starter for the Titans and has played in all 16 regular-season games seven out of his nine seasons in the NFL, playing in 15 last year. Even while missing a game last year Griffin was able to record 101 tackles, one sack, one interception and three pass deflections.
It seems as though the plan right now is to have Griffin compete with Andrew Sendejo to be the starter next to Harrison Smith while the coaching staff continues to develop the younger players on the roster like Antone Exum and Anthony Harris.
Griffin was released by the Titans in February and should be able to provide a relatively young Vikings secondary with a veteran presence on the backend, especially if Terence Newman does not re-sign with the team.
The veteran safety has worked with Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray when Gray was the Titans defensive coordinator from 2011-13. That connection surely helped play a part in the signing of Griffin and should help smooth out the transition.