MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After 10 seasons with the team, free agent defensive end Everson Griffen won’t be returning to the Minnesota Vikings.

Griffen made the announcement in an emotional Instagram post Friday.

“While it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye, I leave Minnesota in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been and have many Pro Bowl seasons to come,” he said. “Wherever my next stop is, I will always be grateful to and cheering for the Vikings. Thank you all for the love, support and memories.”

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When I came to Minnesota as a fourth-round pick out of USC, I had no idea how much my life would change over the next 10 years. I realized my dream of playing in the NFL, went to four Pro Bowls and came within one game of playing in the Super Bowl in front of the best fans in the country. More importantly, I became a husband, a dad, and met teammates who became brothers for life. I also stumbled a few times on my journey and could not be more grateful for the unconditional support and love I received from SKOL Nation. While it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye, I leave Minnesota in the best physical and mental shape I have ever been and have many Pro Bowl seasons to come! Wherever my next stop is, I will always be grateful to and cheering for the Vikings. Thank you all for the love, support and memories.

A post shared by Everson Griffen (@eversongriffen) on

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero says Griffen will now focus on free agency.

The Vikings recently extended quarterback Kirk Cousins’ contract, but have also lost key starters like cornerback Trae Waynes and wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

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