Everson Griffen appears to be the young, pass-rushing lynchpin of new coach Mike Zimmer's Minnesota Vikings defense.
The 6-3, 273 fifth-year defensive end signed a five-year, $42.5-million deal with $20 million guaranteed Sunday, a person with knowledge of the contract told USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced it.
The deal is worth $27 million for the first three years.
Griffen's lucrative re-signing is the strongest sign yet that the Vikings are moving on from free-agent pass rusher Jared Allen, 31, who will hit the market 4 p.m. Tuesday after six seasons with the Vikings.
Griffen rang up 5 ½ sacks last season with one forced fumble and has registered 17 ½ career sacks.
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