Vikings in No Hurry to Trade Pro Bowler

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah's first season as general manager.

While the trade rumor involving Danielle Hunter picked up steam late last week, it must just be media-driven, at least for now.

Hunter reportedly won’t attend Minnesota Vikings mandatory minicamp Tuesday, the latest chapter in the ever-evolving saga.

Vikings in No Hurry to Trade Pro Bowler

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero broke the news Monday that Hunter wouldn’t join his teammates, saying about the two parties, “The sides haven’t seen eye-to-eye on a new contract.”

Vikings in No Hurry
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

And while the contractual standoff seems real between Hunter and the Vikings front office, the team’s desire to trade the EDGE rusher might be conjured. To date, other teams have presumably called about Hunter’s trade price, but the Vikings don’t appear to be actively shopping him.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted Monday that an asking price for Hunter would probably start with a 2nd-Rounder and that “Danielle Hunter would have real trade value.” Meanwhile, Fowler observed the “sense is Vikings would prefer to retain him.”

How Can the Vikings Beat
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.

Of course, the Vikings don’t want to lose Hunter — he’s the team’s top defensive player. Safety Harrison Smith could lay stake to the claim up until a year or so ago, but as Smith hits his mid-30s, Hunter is Minnesota’s top defender. Too, the Vikings ranked 27th last year in defensive DVOA, 30th in points allowed, and 31st in yards allowed. Getting rid of Hunter could spell doomsday for the Vikings defensive rebound efforts, unless new defensive coordinator Brian Flores is truly a miracle worker.

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 9
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Last week on SKOR North’s Mackey & Judd Show, KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson said about Hunter and alleged trade sweepstakes, “I have a very, very, very, very strong sense that leakage did not come from TCO performance center. It did not come from the Vikings. So, we’re looking at either some other team that is hoping putting this out there required with a Vikings if they’re hoping this can push trade talks forward, or it was Danielle’s representation not happy with where new contract talks stand.”

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.

“But until I hear otherwise, I don’t think a trade is on the cusp, is imminent. Maybe we get to that point eventually, but I’m just telling you, the Vikings have every intention — right now as we sit here on June 8 — the Vikings want Danielle Hunter in purple,” Wolfson concluded.

On the whole, Hunter wants a new contract, will hold out from minicamp, and a trade as a resolution is an option. But to surmise that the Vikings are hoping to trade Hunter directly contradicts Fowler and Wolfson.

Hunter ranks 153rd in NFL history with 71 sacks.

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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