A few days ago Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman held a press conference in which he said that rehabbing edge rusher Danielle Hunter had neither requested a trade nor asked to be the highest paid defender in the NFL. Many in the media, including me, said that this was a good sign but some, namely me, said to take that with a Minnesota winter sidewalk amount of grains o’ salt.
It’s funny how quickly things in the NFL can not only change, but also turn into what feels like the beginning of a nightmare. Let me rephrase that. It’s funny how quickly feelings of calm can turn into stomach churning panic where the Minnesota Vikings are concerned.
First, the Tweets that Hunter has liked:
Before you write this off as Hunter being one who likes Tweets who bare his name (which, he could like our stuff sometime, if he’d like), the last Tweet before this recent concerning spree came at the tail end of 2020 (December 28th to be exact).
What does this mean?
Perhaps Hunter wanted to create some leverage in the media after Spielman’s (perhaps) too honest answer about his contract status and (re)negotiation?
We’d better hope so.
Outside of that, this could turn into a team altering nightmare that made the Stefon Diggs drama seem like the Jayron Kearse drama. Hunter is the best edge in a league that increasingly values that position, but like I mentioned on this week’s episode of our KDLM Sports radio show, The VikingsTerritory Breakdown, every variable in this scenario is worse than, and compounded by, the one next to it.
Is he underpaid? Yes.
Can the Vikings afford to give him his market rate? No.
Is he coming off of a catastrophic injury that could change his career? Yes.
Does that injury create a dynamic where he feels he needs to make that market rate now because the next snap he bull rushes could be his last? Yes.
Is he unhappy? Clearly.
This feels like it could be the beginning of the story of the off-season (or more) for the Vikings so stay tuned to UFFda! Sports for all the Hunter and Vikings related updates and try to think positive thoughts. Because that’s clearly worked out great for us this far.
Hopefully this’ll get a like.