Danielle Hunter Gets a New Deal to Stay with the Vikings in 2023

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, one of the big stories for the Minnesota Vikings revolved around the status of star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter.

Hunter, 28, was set to make just $5.5 million during the 2023 season following a 2022 campaign in which he led the team in sacks with 10.5 and was selected to his third career Pro Bowl.

The contract dispute led Hunter to hold out from Vikings mandatory minicamp, and he was a hold in during the first few days of training camp. The contract dispute led some to believe that Hunter could be traded prior to the season if a new deal could not be worked out.

Danielle Hunter New Deal
Nov 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) celebrates after a sack during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

However, on Sunday morning, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that Hunter has signed a new contract to stay with the Vikings during the 2023 season. He tweeted, “The #Vikings and three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Danielle Hunter agreed to terms on a new one-year deal worth $20 million, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Hunter gets $17M guaranteed and a no-tag clause, with a chance to earn a big payday next March.”

Essentially, Hunter will remain with the Vikings for this season before having a chance to hit free agency to snag a long-term deal in 2024.

Considering the top contracts in the EDGE market, this is still a great deal for the Vikings moving into the new season. We also have to keep in mind that Hunter had void years on his previous contract, so in theory, Minnesota could opt to spread the money out from this new contract over the course of their 2024 and 2025 salary caps. However, nothing is set in stone yet in that regard.

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.

The Vikings desperately needed to keep Hunter around this season after trading away their other star pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns earlier this offseason. If they had traded Hunter, it would have resulted in Minnesota needing to find a way to replace 20.5 sacks of production from last season.

This far from gurantees that Hunter will be in Minnesota longer than 2023, but now, it buys both sides more time to talk through a potential long-term contract.

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.