Some Folks Believe Danielle Hunter Could Land in Chicago

Aug 21, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; A Chicago Bears fan wears a bear mask as he cheers during the second half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter didn’t participate at mandatory minicamp this week, holding out for a lofty new contract extension.

Hunter has played on the same contract he signed with former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman five years ago, and the deal is wildly out of date.

Some Folks Believe Danielle Hunter Could Land in Chicago

So, sometime between now and the start of the regular season, Hunter will be extended by current bossman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah — or Hunter will be traded to the highest bidder. The weird part, though, is that some folks believe the trade partner could be a Vikings rival, the Chicago Bears.

Some Folks Believe
Nov 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, you read that right — a handful of people think Adofo-Mensah will continue his trend of trading with divisional rivals and hand Hunter to the Bears for an undisclosed pricetag. USA Today‘s Robert Zeglinski mentioned the Bears as a landing spot for a hypothetical Hunter trade this week and explained, “Chicago is, of course, in a similar spot to the Lions, where it’d probably have to throw some additional sprinkles into any trade with a divisional opponent. But if the Bears are intent on maximizing Fields while he’s still on his rookie contract, going out on a limb for Hunter would deserve applause.”

On the same day, Bleacher Nation‘s Luis Medina linked Hunter to Chicago, “It is clear that Adofo-Mensah and the Vikings’ front office have no qualms about making intradivision trades. Hence, I won’t dismiss the possibility of the Bears and Vikings linking up on a deal for Hunter.”

Vikings Rival Could Get
Nov 5, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles, right watches during the first half of the NCAA football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch.

“Overall, the vibe around the situation makes me feel like the Vikings know a trade is inevitable. It would make sense, too. This team already sent Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Cook packing. It’s almost as if Minnesota is operating like a team that knows its 2022 division-title winner was a smoke-and-mirrors job. If that is the case, kudos on having a sense of self-awareness most franchises don’t have,” Medina added.

But wait — there’s more.

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Helmet; Fans gather in front of U.S. Bank Stadium before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

CBS Sports Jonathan Jones also did the thing, gluing Hunter to the Bears as a trade destination on Friday, “On the Bears: They absolutely have to find another pass rusher. Yannick Ngakoue is a player who would make a lot of sense there if the numbers are right. And Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has shown he has no fear about trading within the division, so perhaps Danielle Hunter could land with a division rival.”

To be clear, the Vikings aren’t on deck for a guaranteed Hunter trade or anything of the sort. Yet, if the defender doesn’t fit inside Adofo-Mensah’s oft-mentioned ‘competitive rebuild’ philosophy — meaning a 28-year-old EDGE rusher at $20-25 million per season is too expensive — Vikings fans apparently can’t rule out the second most-hated foe as Hunter’s next employer.

Hunter turns 29 this October.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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