Danielle Hunter Reveals His Plan for the Future

Suddenly Sounds
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Danielle Hunter would not leave the Minnesota Vikings if the decision were solely up to him.

The four-time Pro Bowler will become a free agent in about two months, and sans an extension from the Vikings, Hunter could sign anywhere in the NFL and continue his quarterback terrorism elsewhere.

Danielle Hunter Reveals His Plan for the Future

And with his future front and center in the Vikings offseason plans, reporters asked Hunter if we wanted to stay in Minnesota. He replied succinctly, “Yes, sir.”

Danielle Hunter Reveals
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Hunter banked a career year in 2023, his age-29 season, tabulating 16.5 sacks, a career-high. That mark also ranked fifth leaguewide, trailing T.J. Watt (19.0), Trey Hendrickson (17.5), Josh Allen (17.5), and Khalil Mack (17.0).

“I went out there, did what I was told to do. I was excited about how I played this year,” Hunter mentioned about his performance this season.

Sack Master
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Almost as a requirement — otherwise they’ll need an emergency alternative plan — the Vikings must re-sign Hunter. Entering the offseason, only Patrick Jones and Andre Carter are under contract for EDGE-rushing depth, and starting at next to zero would be a dreadful agenda. His next contract could fetch around $25 million per season, and Minnesota should oblige the asking price.

Hunter concluded about his future, “It’s all I know. I came into this league, I don’t know any better. Purple. Ever since middle school, I’ve always been wearing purple. I’m here now. Purple.”

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If the Vikings [weirdly] weren’t interested in prolonging Hunter’s stay, he’d command the utmost interest in free agency. General managers salivate over productive pass rushers, and 16.5 sacks in a single season don’t grow on trees. What’s more, Hunter was the Vikings’ most consistent defensive player in a season when the defense, on the whole, was a total rollercoaster. The club began 2023 with a terrible first three games, became one of the best defenses in football from Weeks 4 through 14, and bottomed out at the worst possible time during the season’s final four games.

Thankfully, Hunter was the anchor and steady force inside first-year defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ defense. One might shudder to think what it would’ve looked like without him.

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The good news? Any contract negotiation starting with the player wanting to return is preferable. Hunter didn’t make his desires mysterious, so general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a reasonable indicator that a deal can get done.

The previous general manager, Rick Spielman, found Hunter in Round 3 of the 2015 NFL, and mind-bogglingly, he was one of the last great defensive players drafted by the Vikings (if that can be believed).

Hunter will turn 30 in October.

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.