Hunter and Addison Rally for Vikings

Do Addison and
Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison watching a video of himself on draft night -- accidentally hanging up on the Vikings general manager and head coach. Minnesota selected Addison with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings have kicked off 2023 training camp, and two of the biggest storylines over recent weeks have revolved around stars Danielle Hunter and Jordan Addison. A sigh of relief can be felt with both showing up for camp.

Hunter and Addison Rally for Vikings

It maybe wasn’t unexpected for Jordan Addison to show up for Vikings camp, but decisions over recent days have certainly made that more of a question. He was caught speeding at 140 mph through St. Paul in response to an apparent emergency with his dog. Thankfully he was unharmed and should be all systems go when Minnesota takes the field.

Hunter and Addison Rally for Vikings
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison reacts after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

For Danielle Hunter, the situation has been more dire. All offseason, he has been the subject of repeated trade talks as his contractual situation remains unresolved. Like former edge rushing partner Za’Darius Smith, Hunter seeks additional dollars on his contract. Minnesota saw the writing on the wall with Smith and moved on. They have yet to make that same decision with Hunter and clearly would like to retain his services.

Although Hunter has reported to Vikings camp, it is clear that this story is still unfolding. Head coach Kevin O’Connell has suggested that Hunter won’t be a full participant out of the gate, which is contingent on the contract situation. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would like Hunter to be on the field for Minnesota, but that comes with the caveat that a deal has to make sense.

The Vikings took Addison with their first-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was always expected to be a day-one contributor, and O’Connell will push him along in an offense that relies on the passing game. Kirk Cousins no longer has Dalvin Cook behind him, and Justin Jefferson is looking for someone to step into Adam Thielen’s shoes. The hope would be that Addison can establish himself as a premiere playmaker in the league sooner rather than later.

Prediction on Danielle
Feb. 10, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; LSU Tigers defensive end Danielle Hunter during training at EXOS gym in preparation for the NFL combine and draft. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Davenport has taken over Smith’s spot opposite Hunter, and it remains to be seen how new defensive coordinator Brian Flores will differentiate his looks from the fired Ed Donatell. No matter what scheme the Vikings line up in, their chances of bringing down the opposing quarterback increase exponentially when Hunter is on the field.

Regardless of what Hunter is looking for personally, Minnesota is still responsible for constructing the optimal 53-man roster. Hunter is under contract, and while he can opt to hold out, the Vikings don’t necessarily owe a new windfall of money to the talented edge. Finding common ground that keeps all parties happy and accounted for is undoubtedly the goal.

One Viking Totally
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

Given the uncertainty regarding Hunter throughout the offseason and the news headlines for Addison in recent days, it is a welcome sight to see both in the building. Minnesota now must find a way for each to establish themselves as part of this unit and keep them there.

The Minnesota Vikings did plenty of winning despite the odds last season. Improving the defense is something that Hunter can help to influence, and creating balance in targets is something that Addison can dictate. O’Connell’s team is again set up for an exciting season, and it becomes better with each individual contributing toward that goal.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.