Everson Griffen (Alissa Foreman/VU)
Vikings DE Everson Griffen was arrested Monday afternoon in California. He tried to flee officers and was hit with a Taser after allegedly assaulting an officer, according to police documents.
Prior to the 2010 draft, there were some draft analysts that viewed Everson Griffen as a late first-round prospect, but, given character questions, few teams had him realistically listed as a third-round prospect. The Vikings got him with the first pick of the fourth round.
The reason for his drop may have been verified Monday afternoon when Griffen was not only arrested on suspicion of felony battery, but brought down with a Taser before he was arrested, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to arrest documents, police pulled over Griffen during a traffic stop near the USC campus. He didn’t have identification at the time and, according to the arresting officers, once they began questioning him, Griffen got aggressive with the officers and then tried to run away. An officer trying to take him down was allegedly assaulted by the fleeing Griffen. The officer used his taser on Griffen and he was arrested.
At a time when Griffen has the potential to make a big step forward professionally – both Ray Edwards and Brian Robison are free agents once free agency becomes official –that may well be in question now.
As of Monday night, Griffen was still be held on $50,000 bond.
These have the potential to be explosive charges because California takes a dim view to anyone who potentially puts an officer’s life in danger. Los Angeles has a significantly higher incidence of police officers being in harm’s way that in most of the country. As a result, guidelines are in place when someone is found guilty of felony assault on a police officer.
Any time a cop discharges a weapon (even a non-lethal weapon like a taser), there are internal investigations that take place, so more facts could be forthcoming. All that can be known for sure is that Griffen spent much of his Monday in jail and the charges he is facing could have ramifications with not only law enforcement, but with the Vikings and the NFL as well.
For those who were looking for E.J. Henderson in Sunday’s Pro Bowl game, he was inactivated because Jonathan Vilma, who had pulled out of the game last week for personal reasons, decided to return and play in the game. While he wasn’t active for the game, Henderson still got the winner’s check of $45,000.
While he didn’t play and got paid, the NFL also considers Henderson to have made his first Pro Bowl. The same isn’t true for Kevin Williams. Williams, who was selected to replace injured Ndamukong Suh, turned down the invite because his wife is expecting a child soon. If a player is named as a starter and declines the invitation, he is still viewed in the league records as being a Pro Bowl player. The same isn’t true for alternates, which snapped Williams’ streak of four consecutive Pro Bowls. Had he been named to the initial roster and turned down the offer, the streak would have continued, but, as an alternate, it doesn’t apply.
Fran Tarkenton is at it again. The former Viking and Hall of Famer who has made most of his own headlines the last couple of years by being extremely critical of Brett Favre, has now spoken out against Bears QB Jay Cutler and his leaving the NFC Championship Game with a knee injury and sulking on the sidelines as his Bears lost. In an interview on WCNN in Atlanta, Tarkenton said the fans will boo him and said of the Bears, “They don’t want to lose him, but his teammates will look at him differently. That’s just the way it is. This is going to be a very difficult thing from him to overcome. It’ll stay with him forever.”
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.