The 7 Free Agent Landing Spots for Danielle Hunter

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Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter can legally talk to any NFL team in the business on Monday. It’s an honest-to-goodness free agency for the 29-year-old, and his tenure in Minnesota could be done.

Danielle Hunter Free Agency: 7 Teams That Could Sign Him

Of course, the Vikings could simply re-sign Hunter and put the hubbub to rest, but as of March 9th, the club has not done so.

So, consider these teams his top seven landing spots for 2024 (if he doesn’t re-up in Minnesota). They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely landing spot).

7. Chicago Bears

Danielle Hunter Free Agency
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The Bears have about $63 million to spend next week, presumably surrounding a team deep with talent around Caleb Williams, who is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in about 6.5 weeks.

Chicago has one premiere pass rusher on the edges of its defensive line — Montez Sweat. And then that’s pretty much it. The Bears have been whispered in the Hunter rumor mill for two months, so keep an eye on this Vikings rival.

6. Detroit Lions

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A dirty little factoid about the Detroit Lions? Their pass-rush win rate ranked eighth-worst in the NFL last season, according to ESPN. Detroit also has tons of cap space entering the 2024 offseason, and these two factors combine to create a landing spot for Hunter.

Aidan Hutchinson and the longtime Viking would pair beautifully, albeit a vomit-inducing ordeal for Vikings fans.

5. Houston Texans

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

The Texans didn’t have Detroit’s pass-rush win rate problem in 2023 — it ranked third per the ESPN metric — but Jonathan Greenard is a free agent and could test free agency next week.

Hunter still has some prime years left at the age of 29, and partnering with Will Anderson could really make the Texan’s defense cook. Plus, Hunter is from Houston. The Texans have about $63 million to spend on free agency, the same amount as Chicago.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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George Edwards is the outside linebackers coach in Tampa Bay, and he worked for the Vikings at the start of Hunter’s career. Those connections in sports matter, so keep an eye on the Buccaneers as a potential Hunter landing spot.

The Buccaneers ranked 17th per pass-rush win rate this season — so meh.

3. Denver Broncos

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Believe it or not, with all the Sean Payton publicity, former Vikings executive George Paton is still the general manager in Denver — even after the failed Russell Wilson swap two years ago. He knows Hunter more than anyone on this list, at least from a scouting standpoint.

The Broncos have about $30 million to spend in free agency. No matter what, Denver desperately needs pass-rushing reinforcements after finishing third-worst leaguewide per the ESPN metric mentioned above.

2. Los Angeles Rams

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CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin wrote about a Hunter-Rams connection in free agency this week, “The onus is on the front office to replenish the pass-rushing cupboard, and Hunter fits the bill as a tried-and-true veteran. New defensive coordinator Chris Shula has a background in coaching outside linebackers, and it’s hard to think Hunter wouldn’t be intrigued at the possibility of lining up alongside future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald on the West Coast.”

And last month, ESPN revealed the Rams as a top destination for Hunter. “The Rams have money to spend in free agency, and filling the edge rushing need should be a priority. Hunter’s 16.5 sacks with the Vikings in 2023 were the fifth most in the league, and he also forced four fumbles,” Matt Bowen wrote.

The world apparently wants Hunter in Los Angeles, so the Rams as a Hunter destination cannot be ruled out.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray sits in the front row as Jonathan Gannon is introduced as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals during a news conference at the Cardinals training facility in Tempe on Feb. 16, 2023. NFL New Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon. © Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Oodles of coaches on the Cardinals’ new staff came from Mike Zimmer’s staff in Minnesota. Even head coach Jonathan Gannon was a Viking for four seasons as a defensive backs coach. He’ll know Hunter well.

Arizona’s pass rush was horrid in 2023, and new general manager Monti Ossenfort conveniently has about $57 million to spend on free agency. Because of the coaching connections, the Cardinals’ demand for pass rushers, and abundant cap space, Arizona should be classified at the top of the list for Hunter’s services if he departs Minnesota.

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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