Danielle Hunter is in search of a new contract, but the star pass-rusher won’t let those desires translate into a minicamp holdout. According to James Jones of the NFL Network, Hunter will be in attendance when the Minnesota Vikings begin mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Previously, Hunter has skipped out on the club’s organized team activities and the rest of the voluntary portion of their offseason program, which was notable given that he has a $100,000 workout bonus. Had he elected to skip out on mandatory camp, he would have been looking at team fines of up to $93,000.
While Hunter may be under the same roof as the rest of his Vikings teammates, it will be interesting to see how much work he’ll actually get. The 26-year-old missed all of last season due to a neck injury that required surgery in October to repair a herniated disc. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that his presence at minicamp is, in part, to show the organization that he’s at or near full strength to further urge the club toward reworking his deal.
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Hunter signed a five-year, $72 million contract in 2018 and is set to make $12.1 million in base salary this season. While he still has three more seasons left under this current contract, Hunter seemingly is looking for a bump in pay as his average annual salary (roughly $14.4 million) ranks 17th among edge rushers.
Prior to last year’s injury, Hunter was blossoming into one of the league’s best pass-rushers. The former third-round pick out of LSU was coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl nods. Hunter has also totaled 14.5 sacks in each of his last two healthy seasons (2018, 2019). If this injury is truly behind him and he can return to that type of impact player coming off the edge, Hunter will be well worth a sweeter deal. Whether or not the Vikings actually go forward in filling that desire, however, is still up in the air.