Full Details Emerge for Danielle Hunter’s New Contract in 2023

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) performs a drill during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, Minnesota Vikings pass-rusher Danielle Hunter signed a new one-year contract to remain with the team for the 2023 season. On Wednesday morning, full details of the contract emerged.

Hunter’s new contract came in the aftermath of a hold-out that the Vikings pass-rusher conducted during mandatory minicamp as well as a hold-in to begin the training camp.

The deal is worth $20 million, and Field Yates of ESPN tweeted out how the contract breaks down for the season. The base salary is probably the most notable part of the contract. It more than doubles from the original $4.9 million all the way to a full $10 million.

Full Details
Sep 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, Hunter gets a signing bonus of $5.5 million, per-game bonuses of $1.5 million (guaranteed), and up to $3 million in incentives. His updated cap hit in 2023 is now $20.95 million, up from the original $13.12 million from his previous contract.

This new deal eats into approximately $7.83 million of the Vikings remaining salary cap. Per Over the Cap, Minnesota originally sat at just over $18.1 million, so based on those calculations, the Viking should land at right around $10.27 million in remaining cap space.

The signing bonus, of course, increases Minnesota’s already large amount of dead money for the 2024 salary cap. Depending on what the incentives are, those could also contribute to the dead money total.

Grading the Vikings Position Groups: Defense
Dec 16, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Currently, Hunter’s dead money for 2024 sits at $11.24 million (again, per Over the Cap), but we will still have to wait and see the official amount that will be added from this new deal.

Hunter certainly deserved a raise after a strong 2022 season, but the Vikings found themselves in a difficult position as to how exactly they would go about giving him that raise. They could have offered him a long-term extension, but considering the pass-rushers injury troubles in 2020 and 2021, that would be very risky.

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

When healthy, though, there is no question that Hunter remains one of the most talented players in the league. He proved that during the 2022 season by leading the Vikings with 10.5 sacks. Now, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and the rest of the franchise seemingly have tasked him with pulling that production off once again in 2023 before they discuss a new long-term deal.

Minnesota’s 2023 regular season will kick off on September 10th when they play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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.