Danielle Hunter Was Totally Unfazed by Rumors

3 Vikings Players to Watch at Packers
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) warms up during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL’s trade deadline expired on Tuesday afternoon, with the Minnesota Vikings acquiring quarterback Joshua Dobbs and a 7th-Round pick for a 6th-Rounder in a deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

Danielle Hunter Was Totally Unfazed by Rumors

The Vikings also shipped offensive guard Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 6th-Round selection, completing two deals, in addition to the Cam Akers trade with the Los Angeles Rams, before the Week 9 cut-off.

And while Minnesota was active this week swapping personnel, one man stayed put after weeks of speculation. Danielle Hunter remained a Viking — and it was never trending to be any different.

Hunter Was Totally Unfazed
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Minnesota started the season 1-4 and lost Justin Jefferson for at least four games to injured reserve. Rumor swirled, suggesting Hunter could be offloaded to the highest bidder, mainly because the Vikings season felt lost.

But then the Vikings won three straight and will hope to ride that momentum this weekend at Atlanta sans the services of Kirk Cousins, who was lost for the year to a torn Achilles tendon four days ago.

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Hunter was asked by reporters Thursday about his thoughts on the trade rumor mill and its application to him this week, and he replied, “It was never anything in the back of my head.”

Some NFL brains theorized Hunter could be traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars — where the aforementioned Cleveland was traded — or the Las Vegas Raiders, a team that fired its general manager and head coach about nine hours after the trade deadline.

“I was always going to be here,” Hunter said Thursday.

Danielle Hunter Trade Rumors
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Hunter leads the NFL in sacks and tackles for loss, and the idea that he would be shopped after the Vikings won three consecutive games was a bit harebrained. Minnesota isn’t an organization that “tanks,” and trading Hunter would’ve nibbled at tanking.

In August, after the Vikings and Hunter’s representation agreed to a reworked deal for the 2023 season, Hunter told the media, “I want to be a Viking forever.”

And that statement directly aligns with Thursday’s — the man isn’t going anywhere so long as the decision is left up to him, so cue your best Wolf of Wall Street gifs.

Danielle Hunter's Impact on Vikings Defense Is Flabbergasting
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Meanwhile, the Vikings defense ranks 12th leaguewide per EPA/Play, up 14 spots after placing 26th through the season’s first three games.

Hunter turned 29 last weekend on the same day Minnesota chipped off Green Bay to kickstart the post-Aaron Rodgers rivalry between the clubs.

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).

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