A new trade proposal between the San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings would completely the shift the dynamic at quarterback in San Francisco. But the proposal would add Vikings pass rusher Danielle Hunter, making it enticing enough to consider.
Niners Wire’s Kyle Madson suggested “a colossal move” in which San Francisco could deal quarterback Trey Lance and a fourth-round pick to the Vikings for Hunter, who is entering the final year of his contract in Minnesota. Madson noted that the Vikings are “doing a little bit of a retooling on their roster.”
“All of [Hunter’s] pass-rushing success is accompanied by consistently strong run defense that allows him to stay on the field for all three downs,” NinersWire’s Ryan Madson wrote in a June 11 story. “Edge defenders of Hunter’s caliber don’t typically come available, which is why the 49ers have to at least poke around on a possible deal.”
It’s a sensational proposal to say the least, and it would allow the 49ers to gain a top-level player in exchange for Lance, whose future became the subject of speculation when his former backup, Brock Purdy, became the front-runner for the starting job.
The 49ers have not indicated, however, that they are ready to move on from Lance, the third overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Danielle Hunter Returns in 2022
When Hunter is healthy, he produces at an elite level. His health is a red flag, though. He missed all of 2020 and over half of 2021 with injuries. But 2022 was encouraging, with the 28-year-old a href=”https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HuntDa01.htm” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>playing in all 17 games and racking up 10.5 sacks and 22 total QB hits. He still produced at an exceptional rate in 2021, collecting 6 sacks despite playing in just seven games.
In total, Hunter has 71 sacks in 102 career games. He’s not much of a ball-disrupter, with just six forced fumbles over that span. But he does have 262 solo tackles in his career, lending credence to the idea that he’s a run and pass defender.
Vikings Star May Need New Contract to Play
Hunter is “officially a holdout” from the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp, which started June 13, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Hunter, who is owed $5.5 million in 2023, wants a new contract that is more in line with his 2022 performance, according to The Athletic’s Alec Lewis, who wrote on June 12 that “there is no easy answer” regarding whether the Vikings would give Hunter a raise.
He will need a new deal in 2024 regardless of where he plays.
Madson wrote that the 49ers would likely need to pay him just to persuade him to come over, and that using Lance as a bargaining chip affects how the team could view a trade for Hunter as a long-term or short-term addition.
“They could be looking to add him just for 2023 where they can pay him $5.5 million to try and win a title this year and then let him walk in the offseason,” Madson wrote. “It’s unlikely Hunter would want to even play without a new deal though, and at that point it becomes about the type of contract he wants and whether the 49ers can or want to afford it.”