Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter Status, Salary Cap, Set at CB

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VikingsTerritory’s Purple Rumor Mill is a two-day chronicle each week. All the week’s rumors are lassoed and plopped in two spots — articles on Saturday and Sunday — for review. Today is the May 6th edition.

Purple Rumor Mill: Danielle Hunter Status, Salary Cap, Set at CB

Remember — rumors are rumors. What you read on weekends in these pieces is what the world is talking about pertaining to the Vikings, not necessarily items that will come to fruition.

Here’s the first batch of the week.

Rumor: Danielle Hunter will likely remain with the Vikings via an upcoming extension.

Hunter Status
Lions running back D’Andre Swift is tackled by Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter during the second half of the Lions’ 34-23 win over the Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, at Ford Field. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Danielle Hunter is scheduled to earn just $5 million in new money this season, meaning he’ll probably put his foot down until a new contract is presented. His team-friendly deal, a topic of discussion for four consecutive offseasons, is winding down.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson predicted this week that Hunter would remain a Viking with a pay increase. He said on the Mackey and Judd Show Thursday, “I still think the Vikings end up ultimately giving Danielle some sort of raise. I see Danielle Hunter here in 2023.”

“I continue to not see Dalvin Cook here in 2023. Za’Darius, I would say that’s the one where there is some uncertainty. I think the Vikings would love to find a way to have Za’Darius on this roster in 2023, so I think there are still some things to figure out on that front. But I do think Dalvin ends up elsewhere. I think Danielle Hunter is here,” Wolfson added.

And this makes sense. The Vikings need a defensive turnaround in 2023, and trading the defense’s best player would seem as backward as hell.

Rumor: The Vikings salary cap is no good at the moment, but that can change in a day.

Bad News Gets Even
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Only the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fewer salary cap dollars than the Vikings as of May 5th. But, indeed, the Vikings can get out from underneath the contracts of Dalvin Cook and Za’Darius Smith after June 1st while restructuring Brian O’Neill’s contract now or later.

If they conduct those three moves, Minnesota can shoot from near-worst to near-first in cap space in the blink of an eye. Choosing these financial measures effectively depends on general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s appetite to sign free agents this summer.

Rumor: The Vikings CB room might be set with no newcomers on the way.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

These are the Vikings cornerbacks at the moment:

  • CB1: Byron Murphy
  • CB2: Andrew Booth
  • CB3: Akayleb Evans
  • CB4: Joejuan Williams
  • CB5: Mekhi Blackmon
  • CB6: Tay Gowan
  • CB7: John Reid
  • CB8: Kalon Barnes
  • CB9: C.J. Coldon
  • CB10: NaJee Thompson
  • CB11: Jaylin Williams

Adofo-Mensah could target a free agent like Shaquill Griffin or William Jackson, but the room is pretty well stocked. About five or six men on the list above will make the regular season roster, so the team doesn’t really need many “extra guys” after the draft.

Rookie safety Jay Ward will also play some CB snaps. We expect the Vikings to be content with the current CB group.

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,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.