Danielle Hunter Doesn’t Want to Leave Vikings — Ever.

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Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter reworked his contract last weekend, gaining a one-year deal worth $17 million.

The deal is expandable up to $20 million with incentives.

Danielle Hunter Doesn’t Want to Leave Vikings — Ever.

He’ll remain a Viking for at least one more season — after about six months of fans wondering if the three-time Pro Bowler would be retained or traded. The latter felt like a real possibility as recently as last week.

Want to Leave
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And if a long-term decision is up to Hunter — and the money is right — the defender may never leave the Vikings, according to his musings at training camp. Hunter told a gallery of reporters Monday, “I want to be a Viking forever.”

That’s it. End of story. The man never truly wanted to leave. Forever is not a term used to express disgruntlement.

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“I love this organization. I’ve always been an advocate for these dudes. I’m happy to be back, happy to get back out there with my teammates, and just want to get out there and play football. It’s been a long process, but I’m here now, and I’m ready to work,” Hunter added.

Hunter, 28, lived on a bubble of sorts this offseason amid general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s plan to ‘competitively rebuild’ the organization. Adofo-Mensah took the big job in January 2022 and has since explained his desire to remain a winning club while transforming the roster on the fly.

Overhauled Teams
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Correspondingly, Adofo-Mensah said goodbye to aging and expensive veterans this offseason, preferring players age 27 and younger and short-term deals for most newcomers. The man wants flexibility in the short term to prepare for the long term.

So when Hunter asked for a new contract, Vikings loyalists wondered if he fit the criteria. EDGE rushers often thrive well into their 30s, but $20 million annually is a high price for a team rebuilding in real-time.

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In the end, Hunter and the Vikings brass met in the middle, paying the pass rusher market value while evidently setting up a discussion on Hunter’s next contract in seven months. The LSU alumnus is slated to hit open free agency for the first time next March, in addition to Vikings players like Kirk Cousins, K.J. Osborn, and Marcus Davenport, to name a few.

It shouldn’t be too challenging to woo Hunter to stay. The man point-blank said Monday he won’t leave unless his hand is forced.

Moreover, with Hunter back in the saddle, Minnesota can contend for the postseason in 2023. If it reaches that threshold and doesn’t lose right away in the playoffs, perhaps re-signing Hunter, Cousins, Davenport, etc., will become a no-brainer.

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.