Vikings Star Speaks on Upcoming Free Agency: “Whatever’s Best for Me, I’ll Take That”

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.

Ever since the Minnesota Vikings selected Danielle Hunter in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft, he has been one of the most prominent defensive players on the roster.

For the first eight years of his NFL career, the Vikings star had been retained on contract extensions before he could hit the open market. Now, Hunter is set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time since joining the team.

Before that free agency period rolls around, though, Hunter is enjoying this week at the Pro Bowl Games after being selected to the event for the fourth time in his career. He spent some time chatting about free agency with Grant Gordon, a digital content editor for

Vikings Star Speaks on Upcoming Free Agency

Vikings Star
Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what Hunter said on Friday:

“Just letting everything play its course. I did my job. Everything’s in my agent’s hands and my team — and whomever it is that’s out there,” Hunter surmised. “My job, like I said, is to do my job. And I’m gonna make sure I stay in shape and whatever is best available for me, I’ll take that.”

The pass rusher had career-best numbers during the 2023 campaign, totaling 23 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks. While players like Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum suffered injuries at various points in the season, Hunter was the consistent player who always provided the Vikings with a much-needed presence in the pass rush.

Even with Hunter’s production, Minnesota finished the season tied for 19th in total sacks (43). Now, all three of these players are set to enter free agency, and the Vikings face a daunting decision of whether to re-sign them or completely rebuild their group of pass rushers.

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

That decision ultimately begins with Hunter. After struggling with injuries during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the pass rusher has once again proven himself as one of the best players at the position during 2022 and 2023. His tackles for loss total this season tied for the league-lead with Maxx Crosby, and he ranked fifth in sacks.

Hunter inevitably will land himself a massive contract this spring, whether that be with the Vikings or elsewhere. Currently, he is projected by PFF’s Brad Spielberger to land a three-year deal worth a total of $65 million ($21.67 million/year), including $40 million in guaranteed money.

Of course, the Vikings have money to play with when free agency rolls around. They currently sit with right around $24.6 million in cap space, and they have multiple ways to free up additional space when the time comes.

Aug 3, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) during training camp at TCO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2023 season, Hunter and the Vikings had a bit of a tumultuous offseason. He held out of many offseason activities, and he conducted a hold-in to begin training camp. That came to a swift end, though, after the Vikings gave him a new $20 million contract to remain in Minnesota for the 2023 season.

Hunter has also stated that he wants to be a Viking for life, but it’s very clear that he wants to be in the best situation for him. As he stated on Friday, he’s done his job by being a very productive player this past season, fully living up to that $20 million payday. Now, the ball is in the Vikings’ court to reward him for his play with a new deal.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, and Over the Cap helped with this article.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.