ESPN Suggests Danielle Hunter Trade to Vikings Rival

Are Evaluators Not Watching Danielle Hunter?
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) on the sidelines in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Based on the result of the next two or so games, the Minnesota Vikings could sell assets.

The process would involve trades focusing on future draft capital, with the NFL’s trade deadline 19 days away.

ESPN Suggests Danielle Hunter Trade to Vikings Rival

Players like quarterback Kirk Cousins or left guard Ezra Cleveland could be dealt to the highest bidder, especially if the purple team loses this weekend at the Chicago Bears and the following week at home to the San Francisco 49ers.

And another prominent name for Minnesota could be on the move if ESPN is correct — outside linebacker Danielle Hunter. That sports media giant believes Hunter could shipped to Detroit, where he’d play for the rival Lions.

Suggests Danielle Hunter
Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) and defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) celebrate during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell claimed the Vikings could send Hunter and a 5th-Round pick to Detroit for a 2024 2nd-Rounder, 3rd Rounder, and EDGE rusher James Houston. He explained, “Trading Hunter would save the Vikings $8.3 million over the remainder of 2023. They would land Houston — who looks like a promising pass rush prospect with two years of team control remaining through restricted free agency — and a second-round pick in April’s draft. They would also get a third-round pick in 2025 if Hunter re-signs with the Lions in free agency.”

Hunter is scheduled to hit free agency in March.

Hunter Is
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates a sack of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Barnwell continued, “Hunter is probably the best player with a realistic chance of being moved by this deadline. The 28-year-old standout has six sacks and a league-high nine tackles for loss through five games this season. He landed a one-year, $17 million deal after a hold-in this summer, but with free agency looming and the Vikings repeatedly reticent to offer him a new deal, he is likely to leave the organization in the offseason.”

The Vikings would take a major blow to their pass rush because, at times this season, Hunter has been the only source, particularly when Marcus Davenport was absent.

Sack Master
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

“Most teams wouldn’t be willing to trade a standout within their own division, but Minnesota general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seems to relish making deals in the NFC North. The Lions traded up with their rivals to land wideout Jameson Williams in the 2022 draft then sent tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings for draft picks last fall. A then-struggling Detroit team was sending a starter to the first-place Vikings. Now, those roles are reversed,” Barnwell concluded.

The only hurdle for Hunter to the Lions, aside from assuming the Vikings season is already over, is the trade partner. Indeed, Adofo-Mensah traded with Detroit during his first draft 19 months ago, but there’s no guarantee he’d gladly aid the division frontrunners again.

But on the whole, yes, Hunter is probably the most likely Viking to be traded in the next three weeks.

Hunter turns 29 on October 29th.

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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