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Contract finalized, Everson Griffen overly eager to pay back Vikings with production to match

Everson Griffen didn't want to entertain offers from other teams. His loyalty was with the Minnesota Vikings.

As NFL free agency formally began Tuesday, the Vikings finalized contracts with Griffen and quarterback Matt Cassel that they agreed to over the weekend.

On a conference call with reporters, Griffen was almost beside himself with excitement in talking about his future as a full-time defensive end under new head coach Mike Zimmer. Griffen said he "just knew this was the right place" for him. Entering his fifth year in the league, Griffen said he hasn't "even touched the surface" of his production.

Playing behind Brian Robison and Jared Allen, Griffen had 5½ sacks last season. Allen became a free agent, so Griffen will take his place in the starting lineup.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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