Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings' Griffen released from California jail

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, NFL draft, Brian Robison, Ray Edwards Updated: February 1, 2011 - 11:30 AM

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was released from a Los Angeles jail early Tuesday after posting $50,000 bail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance late this month.

Griffen was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of felony battery after allegedly assaulting a police officer and being tased near the University of Southern California campus. According to the website run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department, Griffen was released at 1:21 a.m. Pacific Time and is due back in court at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 25.

A spokesperson with the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said Griffen's case has not been brought to them yet and that if charges are going to be filed it could be a few weeks before that happens. In fact, charges could be filed as late as a few days before Griffen's court appearance. 

Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said in a statement that: "We are aware of yesterday's alleged incident involving Everson Griffen. At this time the team is gathering all the facts and will withhold any further comment."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also confirmed the league is looking into Griffen's arrest.

Monday's arrest isn't Griffen's only legal problem in the past few days. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Griffen also was arrested just after midnight on Saturday for being drunk in public in Hollywood. He was released later that day.

In Monday's incident, police said they pulled Griffen over around 4 p.m. Pacific time, but he did not have valid identification on him. When officers questioned Griffen, he became aggressive and attempted to run away. Grifffen then assaulted one of the officers who were pursuing him. Griffen was tased and arrested.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Griffen said "he did not want to go back to jail."

Griffen also was cited by police in Nantucket, Mass., for a noise violation on July 4, 2009, but it wasn't completely clear initially why he would have mentioned going back to jail. TMZ's website helped to clear up why Griffen mentioned returning to jail when it was the first to report that he spent time Saturday in police custody.

The Vikings selected Griffen in the fourth round of last April's NFL draft out of Southern Cal. Considered a talented player, there were character concerns that caused him to fall. He was inactive for the first five games of his rookie season but was on the 45-man game-day roster for the final 11, playing mainly on special teams.
 
With Ray Edwards and Brian Robison both potentially hitting the free-agent market this offseason, Griffen appears to have a chance to compete for a job at left defensive end next season. Griffen had eight tackles on special teams in 2010 and had seven tackles and five quarterback hits on defense.
  
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