5 early winners from the Minnesota Vikings 2021 offseason

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter – Minnesota Vikings /

Danielle Hunter – DE

Anybody who wasn’t a little bit worried about Danielle Hunter‘s situation with the Vikings had a lot more confidence than most. The defensive end was holding out of OTAs despite missing the entire 2020 campaign with a neck injury, leaving his future with the franchise in some real doubt.

Hunter wanted to be paid like an elite edge rusher, which he undoubtedly is when fit and firing on all cylinders. But the Vikings were rightfully skeptical about paying Hunter megabucks considering the severity of his injury last spring.

This predicament had the potential to drag on into training camp, so there was a huge sigh of relief from everyone associated with the organization when both parties came to a mutual agreement.

Minnesota reworked Hunter’s deal, which sees his cap hit come in at an eye-popping $26.12 million in 2022. If the player produces the goods and suffers no more problems staying on the field, then the Vikings will be more than happy to give him the bumper deal he’s looking for.

This is great news for the Vikings and Hunter, who can now focus his attention on football and becoming the driving force on Minnesota’s defensive front after so long away from the gridiron.

Hunter should also benefit from the presence of Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson at defensive tackle, who command blocks and eat up space to provide those coming off the edge with more space to do damage.