The Minnesota Vikings could be on the precipice of executing a deal which would involve their three time Pro-Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter. The trade rumors swirling around Hunter heated up Wednesday afternoon when NFL insider Ian Rappaport reported that Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was actively fielding calls from several teams with interest in acquiring the 28 year-old pass rusher. In an interview with NFL Network Rappaport called the situation “pretty serious”.
The Vikings suddenly seem open to trading Hunter after being unable to agree to a long-term deal this off-season. Hunter is only set to make 5.5 million in 2023. After missing 11 games in 2021, Hunter proved his health last year playing the full 17 game season and racking up 10.5 sacks in the process. Through 2018-2019 he sacked the quarterback 29 times which only trailed Chandler Jones and Aaron Donald during that span.
If recent transactions are any indication of what is to come then Viking fans may not be too pleased. On May 12th the Vikings sent Za’darius Smith along with a 6th and 7th round draft pick to the Browns for a pair of 5th round picks. With a similar market value as Smith, despite Hunter’s raw talent probably being worthy of at least a 3rd round pick, it seems unlikely that the Vikings would yield such a positive return. The NFL draft passing over a month ago along with recent transactions seem to point towards a disappointing deal for Minnesota.
However, it is just as possible that the dust settles and Hunter remains a Viking for the 2023 season and beyond. Furthermore, with a motivated Brian Flores set to become the team’s defensive mind, it is very possible that Hunter’s best seasons still lie ahead.
The storyline surrounding the Vikings defensive talent only further compounds upon existing roster uncertainty. Early Thursday morning long-time starting running back Dalvin Cook was released by the team with 24 year-old Alexander Mattison set to become the starter. The only certainty as of now is that a summer of roster uncertainty awaits and a potentially busy off-season in Minnesota could mean a vastly different 53-man roster come the end of August.