If forced to pick between the two, should the Minnesota Vikings give a contract extension to pass rusher Danielle Hunter or tight end T.J. Hockenson this year?
A lucrative extension is very likely on the way for Minnesota Vikings superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson before the start of the 2023 regular season (despite a narrative some pessimistic reporters have been attempting to build). In addition to Jefferson, the Vikings could agree to give extensions to pass rusher Danielle Hunter and tight end T.J. Hockenson within the next few weeks as well.
But what if Minnesota was forced to pick between extending Hunter or Hockenson? Which player would be better for the Vikings to invest a chunk of money in? Vote in the poll below to find out if your choice agrees with the majority of Minnesota fans.
Should the Minnesota Vikings extend Danielle Hunter or T.J. Hockenson?
At 28-years-old, some might believe Hunter is getting too old to land a big-money extension from the Vikings. However, five of the 10 players that generated the most pressures in the NFL last season are currently 28 or older. So Hunter's age really shouldn't be something that persuades Minnesota to extend the pass rusher or not this summer.
His recent injury history is definitely something to consider though. Hunter missed the entire 2020 season with a neck injury, and then in 2021, he only appeared in seven games after suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle. He was active for all 18 of the Vikings' contests last season (including the playoffs), so maybe his injuries in 2020 and 2021 were a fluke?
Currently, comparable pass rushers to Hunter in terms of age and skill are making around $20 million per season. Is Minnesota okay with paying him that amount of money for the next few years?
As for Hockenson, he's coming off of a 2022 campaign where he developed a connection with Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins immediately after the Vikings traded for the tight end in the middle of the season. Hockenson had nine catches in his very first game in a Minnesota uniform, as he was an instant contributor to the team's offense.
Despite his success with the Vikings last season, should the team consider waiting another year to extend him in order to see how his production might be impacted in 2023 by the addition of rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison earlier this offseason?
An extension for Hockenson is likely going to cost Minnesota around $15 million per season if they get a deal done this summer. So it's going to be cheap by any means.
If the Vikings can only extend one of the two players this year, who has the better chance to meet the high expectations that will come with a new deal?