Some players enter free agency looking to escape a club with which they have differences of opinions. Others just hope find employment in the National Football League for another season.
Vikings defensive end Otis Grigsby has a unique blend of emotions as he enters traditional offseason free agency for the first time.
"It's a mixture. Yeah, you're nervous, but at the same time it's kind of like, I also look at it like it's a testament to how far I've come. I've never had this experience before, so dealing with it means I've been able to stick around long enough," said the former Kentucky Wildcat who played in nine games in 2008 and started one for the Vikings when Ray Edwards was out with an injury.
But even with the most action in his short career, the restricted free agent isn't sure what to expect the Vikings to do.
"I've never been in this position before, so I have no idea," he said at the end of the season. "I bounded around so much and was never really (an offseason) free agent. I really don't have an experience to compare it to. You asked me a question and I've asked the same question. You just never know. I just go out and try to do my best every day and that's about all I know," he said.
Instead of becoming all nervous about his possibilities, Grigsby was maintaining a hopeful, childlike attitude over something which he has little control – the first decision will strictly be on the Vikings, who hold the right to make him a qualifying offer.
"It's kind of like Christmas. Some people prefer to tell somebody what they want for their gifts and I'd rather just let God show me and whatever it is I'll take as a blessing and keep working hard," he said.
In 2008, Grigsby got his first career start and was a regular on the team's defensive line rotation. Before that, he joined the Vikings in December 2007, when they were short on healthy defensive ends and signed him off of Carolina's practice squad. Not long after that, he got his first career sack against former Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill. Grigsby originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Miami Dolphins in 2003, so he's become intimately familiar with an uncertain future.
Now it's just a matter of waiting to hear from his agent, who encouraged him to take advantage of every opportunity he got last year.
"We basically just talk about maximizing opportunities when you get in. I don't necessarily even want to get into that (free-agent speculation) anyway. We have a good feel for each other. He's good at not blowing smoke up my butt and not telling me and hyping me. We have a real good, even-keel approach toward things, just knowing that we take care of business and everything else will take care of itself," Grigsby said. "… It's pretty cool to be around long enough to have to worry about it."
Grigsby uniquely approaches free agency
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