Was the defensive end willing to take a little less money from the Minnesota Vikings to get it quicker after seeing how fast a football career can change?
It was a moment that no one saw coming and one that the Minnesota Vikings and their fans will never forget.
On August 30, 2016, Teddy Bridgewater hit the Vikings’ practice field to prepare for his second-straight season as the team’s starting quarterback. 25 minutes into the session, the unthinkable happened.
Bridgewater reportedly went down with a gruesome knee injury after a routine drop-back and had to be rushed to the hospital. It was later revealed that the quarterback suffered a torn ACL and a dislocated knee.
In a split second, Bridgewater went from having a bright future in the NFL to not knowing if he would ever play in the league again. For the Minnesota players that were on the field at the time of the quarterback’s injury, it is certainly a moment that none of them will ever forget.
Bridgewater’s injury happened less than two years ago, but is it possible that it is still having an impact on some of the recent decisions made by Vikings players?
Danielle Hunter just agreed to a five-year contract extension with Minnesota that could end up paying him more than $70 million. Despite the young defensive end getting this impressive amount of money from the Vikings, some believed he could have got even more as a free-agent in 2019.
So why was Hunter willing to get a deal done now even if it meant he would earn a little less money than what some think he is worth?
After seeing Bridgewater go down in 2016, did the defensive end’s concerns shift to getting a new contract as soon as possible rather than waiting it out for possible gigantic pay day?
It certainly seems possible that watching his teammate be driven away in an ambulance could have had a tremendous impact on Hunter’s recent decision to sign an extension with Minnesota.
At the same time, the defensive end’s new deal is still going to pay him handsomely. But the Vikings were able to lock up Hunter until 2024 for an amount of money that could look like a steal in another season or two.
There have been recent rumblings that Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs is looking for a new contract comparable to some of the NFL’s highest paid in his position group. However, similar statements were said about Hunter as well and that did not end up being the case.
Diggs was on the field when Bridgewater went down two years ago. Will seeing this moment in-person have an effect on the wide receiver’s decision to sign an extension with the Vikings like it possibly did with Hunter?