Danielle Hunter and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a compromise. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the star pass-rusher has agreed to terms on a reworked contract that gets significant money moved up in his deal. This comes amid the speculation that Hunter may hold out of the team’s mandatory minicamp as he looks for a new contract. However, the NFL Network’s James Jones reported earlier on Monday that the 26-year-old would be in attendance. Now, it’s become clear that Hunter’s arrival to camp has come in lockstep with this revised contract.
Previously, Hunter had 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.
Hunter signed a five-year, $72 million contract in 2018 and was 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 was looking for a bump in pay as his average annual salary (roughly $14.4 million) ranked 17th among edge rushers. Under this new agreement, Rapoport reports that Hunter now gets $5.6 million of this year’s money as a signing bonus.
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Of course, this is partially the outcome that Hunter was searching for. While he does get a pay bump, it does create an intriguing situation next offseason. Rapoport notes that there is now an $18 million roster bonus due to Hunter on the fifth day of the league year in 2022. At that time Minnesota will then have to make the decision to either pay him roughly $20 million next year, release him or come to terms on a new contract. That will be a situation worth monitoring down the road.
While Hunter may be under the same roof as the rest of his Vikings teammates and now has a little more cash in his wallet, it will be interesting to see how much work he’ll actually get over the course of minicamp. He missed all of last season due to a neck injury that required surgery in October to repair a herniated disc.
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).