Danielle Hunter Wants to Be a Viking “Forever”

Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) looks on before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past year, we’ve seen a couple Vikings players suggest that they’d like to finish their careers with the Minnesota Vikings. For example, Kirk Cousins has said as much multiple times during his tenure.

Apparently, Danielle Hunter wants to be a Viking for life as well. The pass-rusher recently signed a new deal to remain with the team in 2023. Following practice on Monday, Hunter’s first session back on the field since signing the contract, he was asked about finishing his career in Minnesota. Dane Mizutani of the Pioneer Press tweeted out his response: “Danielle Hunter when asked by @SeifertESPN if he wants to finish his career in Minnesota: ‘I want to be a Viking forever.'”

Danielle Hunter Wants
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

So, there we have it. If Danielle Hunter had his way, it seems he would finish his career in Minnesota. However, it may be a bit tougher than just saying the words. In the end, Hunter may have to put his money where his mouth is if he truly wants to be a Viking for life.

Hunter’s contract is only through the 2023 season, and with the no-tag clause in his deal, he is guaranteed to hit unrestricted free agency next spring (if there is no extension beforehand). Assuming he puts together another double-digit sack season — as is the norm when he is healthy — there will be plenty of teams calling for his services in 2024 and throwing boatloads of money his way.

Outside of the 2020 and 2021 seasons in which he played just seven total games, Hunter has recorded 10+ sacks in four of his six healthy seasons in the league. He is certainly one of the more talented players at the EDGE position and has earned whatever money comes his way.

Questions Answered: Lions Game Prediction, the Bounceback, Jeff Okudah
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

However, Vikings simply may not be able to make the highest offer next offseason. Not only do they have contract extensions for players like T.J. Hockenson, Justin Jefferson, and Christian Darrisaw to think about, but they still have to figure out their starting QB situation for next season. Cousins is also scheduled to hit free agency next spring.

There is also the matter of Marcus Davenport, who got a one-year contract with Minnesota this season. He has had some ups-and-downs throughout his NFL career in terms of production, but the hope is that he can have a breakout year in 2023 with Brian Flores running the show defensively. If he does, that could be another contract to keep in mind during the 2024 offseason.

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) sacks Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ $54 million in salary cap space next offseason is a healthy amount, but how much of that can be used towards offering Hunter another contract versus retaining other players on the roster? We won’t truly know the answer to that question for awhile, but if the pass-rusher truly wants to remain in Minnesota, it may take a bit of a hometown discount.

Discounts for the Vikings haven’t exactly been in the cards when it comes to Hunter, but only time will tell if that changes over the course of the season. Minnesota’s 2023 regular season kicks off on September 10th when they play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.