It's a done deal. Free-agent safety Michael Griffin has signed his new contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
Based on reports from Sunday, Griffin and his agent dined at Manny's Steakhouse in Minneapolis with the Vikings – and free-agent offensive tackle Andre Smith, whom the Vikings are trying to sign as well.
Per the Vikings, Griffin is extremely reliable and durable. He's missed just three games in his nine-year career. He's also a physical safety used to making a lot of tackles. He's had at least 96 tackles in every season going back to 2009, including a career high 153 in 2010 with the Titans.
He also has 25 career interceptions.
Griffin should help to allow free safety Harrison Smith roam the field with more freedom. Head coach Mike Zimmer recently said Smith could be even better – he's already a Pro Bowl safety – if he were paired with a better player.
“Well, I think this: If Harrison Smith was paired with a guy that had some other qualities, we could allow Harrison to be more of an impactful player,” Zimmer said at the NFL Combine. “I don’t know if that answers your question or not, but I think Harrison can be more impactful if he had the right kind of guy next to him.”
Griffin was college teammates with Vikings defensive end Brian Robison at Texas, and he also knows Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray from their time together in Tennessee.