The Minnesota Vikings appear to be in the early stages of a rebuilding process. First, reports surfaced that they were getting ready to release star running back Dalvin Cook and now there are talks of them looking to trade All-Pro pass rusher Danielle Hunter.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Vikings are fielding calls on Hunter after talks stalled on a long-term contract extension. The 28-year-old outside linebacker is due only $4.9 million and becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 campaign. Hunter would be a steal for any team in need of pass-rushing help.
“A somewhat murky future for Danielle Hunter in Minnesota. Here’s my understanding of where it stands: sources say that teams have been calling the Minnesota Vikings regarding Danielle Hunter,” Rapoport said. “He has, in fact, generated some trade interest. Now this is something that we’ve heard rumors about, really, for the last I would say several months as we try to figure out why. There are a couple of reasons. First of all, he is really, really good. Teams usually like really, really good players at premium positions like pass rusher.”
Rapoprt added that talks on a long-term contract extension haven’t been progressing in Hunter’s favor, prompting the Vikings to reluctantly shop him around. The trade interest in the three-time Pro Bowler was classified as “pretty serious.”
Eagles Had Interest in ‘Freakish’ Player in 2015
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t currently in the market for another pass-rusher, but when an elite player becomes available you know Howie Roseman’s ears always perk up. He values defensive line play above all else, especially guys who can rush the quarterback with ease. Hunter fits the bill: 71 sacks in 102 career games, including 10.5 sacks in 2022. He’s a stud.
Here is a scouting report of Hunter’s strengths, via NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein:
Freakish combination of size, athleticism and explosiveness. Has long arms with jarring power behind his hands. When technique is right, he can stack and overpower tackles at point of attack. Fluid and agile in space. Uses length to bat down passes and disrupt the passing lane … Off-the-field character considered “squeaky clean” by NFL scouts.
There appeared to be serious interest, then the Vikings drafted Hunter in Round 3 (88th overall). The Eagles took linebacker Jordan Hicks four picks to Hunter coming off the board. Hicks was a starter on the 2017 Super Bowl championship squad.
Eagles Loaded for Bear on Defensive Line
The need for Danielle Hunter on the Eagles’ defensive line is scant to none. They dumped a lot of resources into solidifying the trenches this offseason, including two first-round picks (Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith) while re-upping Brandon Graham for one more year. He’s expected to start alongside Pro Bowler Josh Sweat at defensive end.
Philadelphia also has defensive end Derek Barnett on the mend from season-ending ACL surgery, along with high expectations for third-year defensive tackles Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu. They are very much loaded for bear in the trenches.