Report: Vikings Not Interested in Trading Superstar

Vikings Will Enter 2023 Offseason with Familiar Problem
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Minnesota Vikings fans and the NFL world might think the purple team is trending toward a seller of notable assets at the trade deadline, but that idea could be what-ifs and maybes.

Last week, quarterback Kirk Cousins told reporters that even thinking about waiving his no-trade clause before the NFL’s October 31st deadline was a waste of his time and energy.

Report: Vikings Not Interested in Trading Superstar

So, with Cousins unlikely to exit the franchise via trade before the end of the month, attention turned to superstar pass rusher Danielle Hunter and which team he might join if Minnesota traded the 28-year-old for draft picks.

Not Interested in Trading
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The problem, however, is that the Vikings aren’t interested in trading Hunter, according to ESPN.

Hunter leads the NFL in sacks and tackles for loss through Week 6 and has served as Minnesota’s most consistent defensive piece amid a six-game span when Brian Flores’ new defense has matured on the fly. Meanwhile, the Vikings also placed Hunter’s pass-rushing teammate Marcus Davenport on injured reserve this week, making a Hunter trade even less likely.

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 9
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ESPN’s Jeremy Fowled noted this week about the faux Hunter trade sweepstakes, “Here’s my understanding on Minnesota and Hunter: The Vikings gauged trade interest in the offseason when they didn’t have a new deal, as a contingency if they couldn’t re-sign him. Lately, they have not been exploring a trade for Hunter, despite some external interest. And there’s a sentiment in the building that Hunter, who leads the league in sacks, is valuable for a team that isn’t out of it yet.”

The rumor mill has linked Hunter to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders, among other teams, in recent weeks, claiming the Vikings could fetch a Day 2 draft pick for the EDGE rusher.

Prediction on Danielle
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“So, the sense is it would take a sizable deal to pry him. One league exec who’s very high on Hunter said he’s not in position to give up a first-rounder for him, suggesting that might be what it would require. Jacksonville was linked to Hunter in the preseason, though that was before pass-rusher Josh Allen decided to have a career year with seven sacks in his first six games,” Fowler added about Hunter’s trade feasibility.

Hunter lives in a bit of an odd space for the Vikings, at least through Week 6 of 2023. Minnesota is conducting a self-professed “competitive rebuild” of its roster, and with Hunter turning 29 next week, he’s right on the bubble. It almost feels like if he isn’t traded before Halloween, the Vikings will sign him to a long-term deal in March. Twenty-nine isn’t old-old for an outside linebacker, and Hunter is too valuable to walk via free agency for nothing.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

What’s more, with Davenport out for at least a month, trading Hunter would leave the Vikings with reservist EDGE rushers as starters, almost nominating Minnesota for “tank” status in the next three months.

While the NFL’s trade rumor mill is fluid and Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah loves to wheel and deal, it makes more sense that Hunter would remain on the Vikings roster for the remainder of the season and sign a long-term extension next offseason.

Other veteran players like K.J. Osborn and Jordan Hicks have also been plopped in trade the rumor mill.

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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