Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors: 3 Clear Options and 1 Potential Sleeper

Feb 4, 2023; Paradise, NV, USA; NFC linebacker Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings (99) during practice at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

One of the big questions surrounding the Minnesota Vikings is the potential Danielle Hunter trade rumors.

Of course, the newest rumors are receiving fuel from the defender holding out of the team’s minicamp in hopes of a new contract extension. With Hunter heading into the final year of his current deal, the eighth-year pro believes he is worth more than he is currently paid.

Then again, that could be said for a lot of NFLers. So, if Hunter does get moved, who makes sense to trade him to? If they come to fruition, here are the Danielle Hunter trade rumors with three clear options to move him to and one potential sleeper option.

The Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors: Contract Details

Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) and Minnesota Vikings guard Ezra Cleveland (72) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

As previously mentioned, Hunter is in the last season of a 5-year, $72 million deal signed back in the 2019 off-season. And, as this Bleacher Report article notes, defensive end (edge rusher) is quickly developing into one of the higher-value skill positions in the game. Specifically, its writer, Tyler Conway, describes it like this: “Edge-rusher has quickly become the most expensive defensive position, with seven different players averaging $20 million annually. It’s highly likely Hunter wants to become the eighth and won’t show up until he’s compensated — or traded to a team that will back up the Brinks truck.”

Hunter is on tap to make at least $4.9 million in the 2023-24 season, with a potential max-out somewhere around $5.5 million. And, VikingsTerritory‘s Dustin Baker notes, where Hunter goes, so goes the momentum of the Vikings defense. If Hunter is to leave, then the Gjallarhorn would appear to be bound for a full-on “competitive rebuild.” That being said, Hunter can certainly help improve the Vikings’ defense from its near the bottom of the barrel standings in points allowed in 2022-23.

But enough about the contract drama. Let’s discuss the meat and potatoes of this story. Where are some clear options for Hunter to go to, and what one team could emerge as a sleeper acquisition?

Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors: 3 Clear Options

Option No. 1: San Francisco 49ers

From the get-go, one of the clear teams emerging through the Danielle Hunter trade rumors is the San Francisco 49ers. Hunter would be a wonderful partner to play with Nick Bosa on the Niners edge, but he might not be a long-term pairing, considering that Bosa will also be in the pursuit of at least an eight-figure contract. That could create some cap space issues out by the Bay. What all the Vikings would want in return remains to be seen.

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Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Option No. 2: Jacksonville Jaguars

The second team emerging as a solid potential suitor in the Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors sweepstakes is the Jacksonville Jaguars. The up-and-coming Jaguars have a very exciting young defensive core developing led by star defensive end Josh Allen. Partner that with 2022’s No. 1 pick in Travon Walker, and the young Jags look to have a scary front 7 group. But there isn’t much in terms of pass rush capabilities to be found. Hunter can serve as a mentor to Walker and lead Jacksonville to more success and perhaps even a deeper playoff run in the 2023-24 campaign.

Option No. 3: Kansas City Chiefs

With Frank Clark leaving for the Denver Broncos in free agency, the Kansas City Chiefs are in need of someone on the edge to help take some edge-rushing pressure off of Chris Jones. With the Danielle Hunter trade rumors putting Kansas City in the thick of the heat, Hunter seems like a potentially good fit not just to bring edge rushing but also to serve as a mentor to younger players in George Karlaftis (first-round pick in 2022) and Felix Anudike-Uzomah (2023 first-round pick).

Sleeper/Wild Card Option In Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors

The one team that appears to be emerging as a potential sleeper to acquire Hunter is the Houston Texans. Yes, the Texans are in a definite rebuild, but they also want to be competitive in their mindset.

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Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

As the VikingsWire website notes, “The wild card here is the Texans. They are still working on a rebuild but accelerated it by trading up from 12 to three with the Arizona Cardinals to get Will Anderson Jr. Adding Hunter could give them a truly dynamic duo that would be a great fit for DeMeco Ryans’ defense. If they believe they are farther along than what the league thinks, the move could make sense in setting themselves up for a 3-4 year window.”

Not only that, but the pedigree and history of star edge rushers through the Texans franchise brings up notable names like Mario Williams, J.J. Watt, and JaDeveon Clowney, just to name a few. With the Danielle Hunter trade rumors starting to heat up in late June, the Texans could certainly emerge as a potential surprise team to acquire the Vikings big man.

Final Thoughts on the Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors

With June drawing closer to an end and minicamps leading toward training camp, the question will be, what will the Vikings do with Danielle Hunter? Plenty of trade rumors are sparking due to his questions about his current contract, and the Vikings are torn between a competitive rebuild or being a full-fledged contender in the NFC North. Whatever decision will be made is sure to have its comments, but that is for another time.

As of now, Hunter is still holding out of minicamp with no contract extension in sight. Will the Vikings pay the big man what he desires, or is he on the outs from the Gjallarhorn? This will be a very intriguing chapter to watch in the 2023 off-season in Minnesota.