How much is Danielle Hunter worth to the Minnesota Vikings?
By Dean Jones
Hunter’s contract situation
Danielle Hunter is still making good money on the final three years of his deal, of that there is little doubt. The former LSU phenom is counting $17.75 million against the Vikings’ cap in 2021, which is second behind quarterback Kirk Cousins and the sixth-highest among defensive ends across the league, according to Spotrac.
However, Hunter will be looking enviously at the likes of Joey Bosa following his mega-bucks deal with the Los Angeles Chargers and think he might be worth a little bit more than Minnesota is currently paying him.
The edge rusher will be 29-years-old when his contract runs out with the Vikings, which means there might only be one more opportunity for a bumper payday between now and when he hangs up his cleats.
Few would argue that Hunter isn’t one of the more dominant defensive linemen coming off the edge. He recorded 14.5 sacks in consecutive seasons before a serious injury in 2020 and he has 54.5 quarterback takedowns in total over his five seasons in the NFL.
This outstanding production earned Hunter a five-year, $72 million deal in 2018, which was a significant financial outlay at the time. Recent deals for others at the position now have this contract looking like a bargain if he can return to the form of old, and therein lies the problem.
Making him the highest-paid defensive player in the league is a massive gamble. Hunter is undoubtedly on his way to being one of Minnesota’s greatest ever players at the position, but the complications with such an extension are there for all to see.